Zampa reveals Australia ‘wanted to be aggressive early’

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“Once we bowled them out for 73, we did have a conversation about getting the runs before the end of the eighth over.”

Adam Zampa had taken neither a hat-trick nor a five-wicket haul in his first 117 caps for Australia but was a dropped catch away from achieving both in the same game during their crushing eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in Dubai on Thursday.

Zampa ran through the lower order to finish with figures of 5 for 19 as Australia bowled Bangladesh out for just 73, and would have had a hat-trick – spread across two overs – if Matthew Wade had hung onto a chance when Taskin Ahmed edged the first ball of his final over behind, after he had dismissed Shamim Hossain and Mahedi Hasan with the final two balls of his third.

“Because I got the two wickets three overs before my next ball, I actually didn’t think anyone else knew that I was on a hat-trick,” Zampa explained in his post-match press conference. “I wanted it that way, because I didn’t feel like I wanted the batsman to know either, in case he tried to slog one or whatever.

“[After the drop] I said, ‘aww, Wadey, that was my hat-trick mate,’ and he goes, ‘yeah, I know, I tried to catch it for you’ – hence the wry smile. I’ve never got a hat-trick and still haven’t got one, but I can’t really blame Wadey too much – he’s been taking some beautiful catches, in this World Cup in particular.

“I feel like the ball didn’t exactly land where I wanted it to today, but it’s a results-based game and it’s nice to have [a five-for] against my name now. It’s probably not something that I’ve thought about too much, but I know it’s eluded me for the last six years that I’ve been playing for Australia, so it’s nice to tick that box.”

Zampa’s five-for finished off a convincing bowling performance set up by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood as Bangladesh were routed for a double-digit score, giving Australia the opportunity to swing freely in their run chase and boost their net run-rate above South Africa’s.

“We have some interesting memories of the last time we played Bangladesh,” Zampa said of their 4-1 defeat earlier this year. “That was in our minds a little bit. We have a little bit of a different team – some really fast bowlers – and we wanted to be aggressive early [because] we know that if we give a team like Bangladesh a little sniff, they’ll take it.

“They obviously had a pretty big out in terms of Shakib [Al Hasan] but we set about trying to be aggressive, trying to get early wickets. Once we bowled them out for 73, we did have a conversation… about getting the runs before the end of the eighth over. Once we got into a situation where we felt like it was a target and doable, the conversation was had.”

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WATCH – Zampa scalps a wicket on his first delivery

Australia play their final game of the Super 12s stage against West Indies in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, in the knowledge that a win will almost certainly be enough for them to qualify for the semi-finals. Having made a change to the balance of their side for the Bangladesh win, bringing Mitchell Marsh back at No. 3 in place of Ashton Agar, Zampa said he expected they would continue to be flexible, altering their structure based on their opposition.

“The conversation has really been a lot about match-ups. Ash has had a great few years in this team… so to have him sitting on the bench is really stiff on Ash, but the match-ups thing is really important. It will be up to the selectors to decide whether it’s going to be seven [specialist batters] and four [frontline bowlers] or six and five; or three quicks, one spinners, or two and two. It’ll be interesting to see.

“[West Indies] are such a dangerous side, particularly for me personally, as a spin bowler. They’ve got guys that can hit it out of the park, so I’m going to have to be on my game. It’s a pretty important game for us, as everyone knows, but obviously we’ve got the big quicks and we feel like that’s probably going to be an ace against these guys.

“The quicks have been quite difficult to score off, particularly up front in the powerplay, and guys like [Glenn] Maxwell are doing their job for us as well. Batters are trying to be really attacking in the middle overs, which gives me a chance to take wickets – I feel like guys are coming even harder throughout the middle, so [there are] a lot of wicket-taking opportunities.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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