Aussies snatch win from Protease

Sunday, March 25, 2007

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS: In a hard-fought battle between two giants, Australia emerged victorious by 83 runs against south Africa here on Saturday.Chasing a difficult target of 378 in 50 overs, South Africa accepted challenge bravely as their openers Andrew de Villiers and captain Graeme Smith were scoring runs at a faster rate and made 160 runs in only 21 overs. However, as soon as de Villiers was run out and his partner retired hurt the Aussies changed the entire scene and made South Africa collapsed at 194 in 48 overs.Andrew de Villiers scored 92 off 70 balls with 15 fours and two sixes while Graeme Smith made 74 in 69 balls with eight fours and two sixes. Jaques Kallis contributed 48 from 59 deliveries.Nathan Bracken and Shaun Tait claimed two wickets each for 40 and 61, respectively.Earlier put in by the Protease, Australia compiled 377 runs for six wickets in 50 overs. This is their highest score in the World Cup. Australia's previous World Cup highest total of 359-2 was made against India at Johannesburg in the 2003 final. Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist laid the foundation, scoring 106 runs in the opening stand. Gilchrist’s contribution was 42 while Hayden went on to get 101, his eighth ODI hundred, smashing 14 fours and four sixes.This was the fastest hundred in the World Cup history as he completed it in only 66 balls, eclipsing the previous record held by John Davison of Canada, who reached the three figures off 67 deliveries against the West Indies in 2003. Then, captain Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke continued the attack and took score from 167-2 to 328 – a 161-run third wicket stand - when both in succession fell into the nineties. Ponting hit 91 from the same number of balls with nine fours and two sixes and Clarke blasted 92 off 75 balls with seven fours and four sixes. Ponting during his 91, completed 10,000 ODI runs when he hit a six off Hall over long on, becoming the seventh batsmen to reach the milestone. Andrew Hall claimed two wickets for 60 runs while Makhaya Ntini and Charl Langeveldt took one wicket each.

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