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Cricket World Cup: Rusty Australia reach last eight

World Cup Group A, Bangalore:
Australia 324-6 (50 overs) bt Kenya 264-6 (50 overs) by 60 runs

Michael Clarke celebrates running out Tanmay Mishra

Australia ease past Kenya to reach last eight

Holders Australia advanced to the World Cup quarter-finals after an uninspiring 60-run Group A victory over Kenya.

A 114 partnership between Michael Clarke (93) and the returning Mike Hussey (54) helped propel the Aussies to an imposing total of 324-6.

Kenya lost three early wickets but Tanmay Mishra made a valiant 72 to give the African side hope in Bangalore.

And Collins Obuya looked on course for a famous century, only to finish two runs short as Kenya ended on 264-6.

Obuya was on 97 when he took strike with two balls of the innings remaining but he played and missed at the first and could get only a single from the last.

There was a bit of rust even with batting and the fielding. But full credit to Kenya, they fought really well

Ricky Ponting

Although some may criticise them for never really chasing their target with genuine belief, it was a vast improvement from the Kenyans, who were hammered by New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and well-beaten by Canada, in their first four matches of the tournament.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting will be concerned that his bowlers could take only three wickets with the ball in 50 overs - the other three dismissals were run-outs - against arguably the weakest side in the tournament.

The Aussies were playing a full match for the first time in 16 days after their meeting with Sri Lanka was curtailed by rain and the lack of action was evident in the below-par performances of several of their players.

"There was a bit of rust even with batting and the fielding," said Ponting.

"But full credit to Kenya, they fought really well. We tried a few different things today and hopefully we've shaken off the rust ahead of the Canada game [on Wednesday]."

Brad Haddin and Ponting struggled for fluency with the bat in a scratchy 89-run partnership, while in the bowling department Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait, Steve Smith and Shane Watson could not find a consistent line.

On the plus side, Hussey immediately served up a reminder of his value to the side with an assured 54 from 43 balls, while Clarke looked in fine touch as he manoeuvred the Kenyan bowling around the park.

He took Australia past the 300 mark and was well on his way to a first World Cup century when he looked to plant Nehemiah Odhiambo over the ropes and was caught at long-on.

Brett Lee consoles Collins Obuya
Obuya's unbeaten 98 was his highest score in 91 one-dayers

Brett Lee made early inroads into the Kenyan batting line-up with the wicket of Maurice Ouma, who was caught behind off a textbook away-swinger.

Fellow opener Alex Obanda delighted a healthy crowd by smashing Tait back over his head for a massive six, but three balls later the paceman got his revenge as a low full toss demolished Obanda's middle stump.

A mix-up between the Obuya brothers gifted Australia their third wicket as Collins declined to run a single, leaving his brother David stranded halfway down the track.

Collins Obuya made amends by playing the supporting role in a 115 partnership with Mishra, who batted with flair and composure to record his highest one-day international score.

But dreams of a century were put to bed when Clarke ran in from backward point and brilliantly threw down the stumps at the striker's end.

Thomas Odoyo upped the scoring rate with 35 from 38 balls before he was clean bowled by Tait.

And Collins Obuya made a late charge in pursuit of a first career century only to come up agonisingly short.

Kenya captain Jimmy Kamande said: "At the end of the day we came out second, so it's a little disappointing. The worst thing is we have only one more game left."

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see also
World Cup day 23 photos
13 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Veteran Hussey replaces Bollinger
06 Mar 11 |  Australia
Holders Australia see off Kiwis
25 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Holders Australia crush Zimbabwe
21 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Bennett helps NZ demolish Kenya
20 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011 squads
19 Jan 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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