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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 March 2007, 20:01 GMT
Ruthless Australia trounce Dutch
World Cup, Group A: Australia 358-5 (50 ovs) bt Netherlands 129 (26.5 ovs) by 229 runs

Brad Hodge
Hodge struck some massive sixes to eclipse even Adam Gilchrist

Brad Hodge fired an explosive maiden one-day century as Australia beat the Netherlands by 229 runs in St Kitts.

Hodge, brutal through the leg-side, shared 204 in 28 overs with Michael Clarke (93), a record fourth-wicket partnership in World Cup matches.

He hit seven sixes in 123 from 89 balls as 130 came from the final 10 overs in Australia's formidable 358-5.

The Dutch reply was reduced to 46-5 before 11 overs had been completed and they were bowled out for 129.

Daan van Bunge took out some of his frustration at being hit for six sixes by Herschelle Gibbs in the previous match by slamming four fours and a maximum in his 33 from as many balls.

It was the only contribution of note in the innings, although Peter Borren also hit four fours and a six in a cameo 24 from 18 balls.

Glenn McGrath reached 50 World Cup wickets after claiming 2-33, and is now closing in on Wasim Akram's record of 55.

Adam Gilchrist sent Australia on their way after they decided to bat, firing 11 fours in 57 from 64 balls, his first half-century for 10 matches.

The Netherlands could never be described as having an express bowling attack, but their variations of a gentle pace caused occasional problems, albeit not for Hodge and Clarke.

Adam Gilchrist
Gilchrist hit some fluent strokes

Adam Gilchrist sent Australia on their way after they decided to bat, firing 11 fours in 57 from 64 balls.

Matthew Hayden bludgeoned his way to 29 before skewing to point, while Gilchrist played in orthodox, yet attacking fashion, quick to seize on anything short.

He struck boundaries in each of the first three overs but was fortunate to survive when a towering lofted drive that appeared to hang in the air for an eternity was spilled by a juggling Tim de Leede, who had run into position valiantly at deep mid-wicket.

Ricky Ponting was soon despatching the ball consumately to the boundary through the on-side and struck an imperious six over long-on to record the Australia 100 in the 18th over.

The captain was also given a life, in the next over, when Bas Zuiderent twice appeared to be in control of a fairly routine catch above his head at mid-wicket.

But to the dismay of bowler Ryan ten Doeschate, who had already begun an elaborate celebration, the ball dropped to the ground.

The Essex all-rounder gained his revenge when he dived to take a sharp return catch when Ponting drove a low full toss straight back at him in his next over.

Any remote thoughts of a collapse were quickly dispelled by Clarke and Hodge.

There was carnage as 21 came from the 43rd over, bowled by spinner Adeel Raja.

Hodge launched a huge six which was nonchalantly caught by a bronzed gentleman in a vest in about row 10, but the safehanded tan had no chance with the next ball, a full toss, which was sent several rows further back.

Clarke hit his first maximum in the penultimate over to move to 80, then hit two more in succession in ten Doeschate's final over but could not reach three figures, Shane Watson left to hoick the final ball for six more.


Australia: A C Gilchrist (wkt), M L Hayden, R T Ponting (capt) M J Clarke, B J Hodge, M E K Hussey, S R Watson, G B Hogg N W Bracken, S W Tait, G D McGrath.

Netherlands: B Zuiderent, D J Reekers, A N Kervezee, R N ten Doeschate, D L S van Bunge, T B M de Leede, M B S Jonkman, P W Borren L P van Troost (capt), J Smits (wkt), Adeel Raja.

Umpires: Steve Bucknor (WI) and Tony Hill (NZ)

SEE ALSO
Australia - Players to watch
15 Feb 07 |  Australia
Netherlands - Three to watch
14 Feb 07 |  International Teams


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