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Ruthless Australia thrash England

ICC World Twenty20 Group B, Cape Town:
Australia 136-2 (14.5 ovs) bt England 135 (20 ovs) by eight wickets

Nathan Bracken celebrates the dismissal of Kevin Pietersen, who sees his leg-stump uprooted
Bracken removed key man Pietersen as England struggled to get on top

By Paresh Soni

England qualified for the Super Eights in the World Twenty20 despite suffering an eight-wicket hammering by Australia.

The Aussies, in danger of elimination, produced a masterful display to limit their old rivals to just 135, with only Andrew Flintoff (31) breaking free.

Seamers Mitchell Johnson (3-22), Stuart Clark (2-24) and Nathan Bracken (3-16) all had too much nous for the batsmen.

Adam Gilchrist (45) and Matthew Hayden (67no) added 78 quickly and the win was sealed with more than five overs left.

It was a reminder, if needed, that Australia do not take defeats like their humbling by Zimbabwe on Wednesday lightly.

And, despite being relative novices in this short format, they will take some stopping when the tournament moves into its second phase on Sunday, when England face South Africa.

606: DEBATE
Paresh S

This time they will have to do some serious thinking after a woeful performance with the bat, although most teams would have struggled against the ruthlessly efficient Australians.

Captain Ricky Ponting cleverly marshalled his troops and rang bowling changes frequently to upset the batsmen's rhythm.

Matt Prior and Darren Maddy had little width to latch on to and it was no surprise when ungainly heaves cost both their wickets, while Luke Wright failed for the second game running by edging Johnson behind.

Paul Collingwood briefly threatened a revival by cracking successive fours off Andrew Symonds and swinging Brett Lee over mid-wicket for six but he was lbw after missing a full-toss next ball.

And when Flintoff crashed Lee past mid-off and extra-cover, and carved him behind point for successive boundaries, the stage was set for an onslaught from England's most attacking batsmen.

Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff boosted the total with some lusty blows late on

But Kevin Pietersen who had talked before the game of "humiliating" the world's best team - was bowled by Bracken trying to making room and Flintoff guided Johnson to third man just as he was poised for a late assault.

That was it as far as England's chances of a decent total were concerned and there was even a suggestion that the Aussies might go for their target in 9.3 overs, which would have led to a humiliating exit for Pietersen and co.

But even though Gilchrist and Hayden slashed fours in Stuart Broad's second over, there was never a serious likelihood of that.

However, Collingwood was cut for four and swung over mid-wicket for six by Gilchrist as the skipper's first over went for 16, while four boundaries were garnered in James Kirtley's first England over for more than three years.

There was brief respite when Gilchrist lofted Chris Schofield to long-on in the leg-spinner's first over.

Hayden soon resumed the onslaught, swinging Dimitri Mascarenhas over the mid-wicket fence and reverse sweeping for 10 in two balls, while Ponting meted out similar punishment to Schofield.

Flintoff won a minute victory by snapping up Ponting when the skipper chipped a return catch but the honours and bragging rights, once again, belonged to the world champions.



see also
Collingwood targets Super Eights
15 Sep 07 |  England
England ease to win over Zimbabwe
13 Sep 07 |  England
England-Australia as it happened
14 Sep 07 |  Cricket
Zimbabwe stun Aussies in thriller
12 Sep 07 |  Cricket
Prior eyeing World Twenty20 glory
11 Sep 07 |  England
Snape's guide to Twenty20 bowling
11 Sep 07 |  Cricket
Maddy's guide to Twenty20
10 Sep 07 |  Skills
Bopara's Twenty20 batting guide
08 Sep 07 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 squads
08 Sep 07 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 tables
06 Jun 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 fixtures
10 Sep 07 |  Cricket


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