Cricket World Cup 2011
Australia cruise to victory
Shane Watson (Gallo Images)
Bangalore - Australia's openers put on an emphatic display to follow the performance of their bowlers as they crushed Canada by seven wickets in their World Cup Group A match on Wednesday.
It took Australia's unbeaten run in the World Cup to 34 matches stretching back to 1999, and they go top of the group.
Having already booked a place in the quarter-finals, Australia first ripped out Canada for 211 after some initial resistance, and then openers, Shane Watson (94) and Brad Haddin (88) chased down the majority of those runs.
Watson and Haddin saw out the initial overs and took the score to 94 in 21 overs and then cut loose after taking the batting powerplay.
Watson, dropped in the second over by Rizwan Cheema, was the more aggressive after the powerplay, hammering nine fours and four huge sixes in his 90-ball knock.
Haddin rode his luck and matched Watson shot-for-shot in his 84-ball innings until his luck finally ran out in the 29th over when he was caught behind off the bowling of John Davison, who retired from international cricket after this match.
Four balls later Watson was caught on the boundary off the bowling of Harvir Baidwan trying to reach his century with another six.
Earlier, Canada could not capitalise on opener Hiral Patel's whirlwind half-century as the Australian pace bowlers put on a fearsome display of bowling to run though the North American's middle and late order batting.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, 19-year-old Patel slammed a 45-ball 54, including one six each off Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson in his hour-long stay at the crease.
Canada blazed to 77 in 10 overs and Patel eventually fell trying to whack the fourth of the Australian pace quartet, Watson, for a six.
After Patel's exit, Canada's run rate slowed dramatically as their captain Ashish Bagai (39) and Zubin Surkari (34) rebuilt the innings and took the score to the 150 mark in the 29th over, before both fell to Tait.
The Aussie speedsters then took over and Canada crumbled from a comfortable 150-2 to 161-6 in the space of 19 deliveries and barely crawled over the 200 mark.
Lee finished with four for 46, Tait picked up two for 34 while Johnson chipped in with one.
H. Patel c Johnson b Watson 54
J. Davison c Haddin b Lee 14
Z. Surkari b Tait 34
A. Bagai c Haddin b Tait 39
J. Hansra c Lee b Krejza 3
R. Cheema b Lee 2
N. Kumar c Tait b Johnson 7
K. Whatham b Lee 18
H. Baidwan c Ponting b Krejza 17
B. Rao b Lee 5
H. Osinde not out 2
Extras (lb4, w11, nb1) 16
Total (all out, 45.4 overs) 211
Fall of wickets: 1-41 (Davison), 2-82 (Patel), 3-150 (Bagai), 4-157 (Hansra), 5-157 (Surkari), 6-161 (Cheema), 7-169 (Kumar), 8-195 (Baidwan), 9-204 (Rao), 10-211 (Whatham)
Bowling: Tait 8-1-34-2 (1nb, 4w); Lee 8.4-0-46-4 (2w); Johnson 10-0-43-1 (3w); Watson 6-0-22-1; Krejza 10-0-44-2 (2w); Smith 3-0-18-0
S. Watson c Osinde b Baidwan 94
B. Haddin c Bagai b Watson 88
R. Ponting c Davison b Osinde 7
M. Clarke not out 16
C. White not out 4
Extras (lb1, w2) 3
Total (3 wkts, 34.5 overs) 212
Did not bat: M Hussey, S Smith, M Johnson, B Lee, J Krejza, S Tait
Fall of wickets: 1-183 (Haddin), 2-185 (Watson), 3-207 (Ponting)
Bowling: Osinde 9.5-0-53-1 (2w); Baidwan 10-1-41-1; Rao 7-0-46-0; Cheema 3-0-23-0; Davison 4-0-29-1; Patel 1-0-19-0
Result: Australia won by seven wickets
Umpires: Amish Saheba (IND) and Billy Bowden (NZL)
TV umpire: Richard Kettleborough (ENG)
Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)