Australia survived a hiccup or two in their easy win over Canada at the M Chinnaswamy in Bangalore in the 35th World Cup game on Wednesday. Chasing 212 for a win, Australia got there in 34.5 overs with Shane Watson declared the man of the match.
Canada batted first after they had won the toss and opened with Hiral Patel and John Davison. It was a surprising move but probably brought about because it was going to be Davison’s last international game for the Canadian side.
Canada started off very well, as the pair went after the Australia pace duo of Shaun Tait and Brett Lee from the word go. Davison smacked three boundaries in his innings of 14 before he was consumed by Lee but that hardly stemmed the run-flow as Patel went smacking the opposition bowling.
41 came off the first four overs and by the time the first Powerplay was up, the side had got to 77 for the loss of one wicket – just six short of the World Cup highest this year.
It was the half-century and the ensuing dismissal of Patel that brought an end to the scoring rate. Surkari began slowly and Ashish Bagai, at the other end, did his bit to resurrect the innings as well as the pair added 68 for the third wicket.
At 150/2 in the 29th over, there were visions raised of a chase of more than 300 but that was stalled by the bringing back of the quicker bowlers.
Tait got the wicket of Bagai for 34 and that spelled the start of a capitulation that saw the side lose five for 19. Lee was the other wrecker as he blasted through to a four-wicket haul even as the Canadians were bowled out for 211 in the 46th over from their position of great strength.
In reply, the opening partnership of Shane Watson and Brad Haddin were a picture of stark contrast. They did not open their shoulders until they had settled down considerably and when they did, there was no looking back. Both got to their respective half centuries and then blasted a total of six sixes in all, apart from the boundaries.
The pair added 183 for the first wicket in just the 28.3 overs before Haddin missed his century – dismissed for 88 – and this was soon followed Watson being sent back for 94. Ricky Ponting pottered around before getting out for 7 but Michael Clarke and Cameron White saw the side through to an easy win with 15 overs to spare.
With this win, Australia now have nine points from five games. It means that irrespective of the result of their last game in the group stage against the Pakistani side, they cannot finish fourth in the group. If they beat Pakistan, they will end at the top of the table whereas a loss would mean that depending on the result of the New Zealand-Sri Lanka game, they could end up either second or third. In all probability they would end third given their net run-rate.
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