Australia bounced back from their placid performance to blast through a powerful victory over England in a must-win situation. The eight-wicket win which came after bowling England cheaply for 135 came in just under 15 overs which was enough to get Zimbabwe out of the race for the next round. Nathan Bracken was the hero of the match with his restrictive spell of 3 for 16 in 4 overs that set the match up in Australia’s favour.
Asked to bowl first, the Aussies put on a tight show with the new ball with England losing three wickets with just 48 on the board in 7.3 overs. Left armer Mitchell Johnson took two of the three wickets to fall. England recovered through Collingwood and Pietersen but the pair failed to take them to the distance. Collingwood was gone lbw to Brett Lee after making a quick fire 18 from 11 which included a six off a free hit from Brett Lee’s bowling. Like Collingwood’s, Pietersen’s stay at the wicket was also short lived with his innings lasting only 20 balls in which he made 21. Flintoff carried the game forward with a brisk 31 from 19 with 4 fours and a six but his wicket started a further collapse for England. The last five wickets fell at the addition of just eight runs in the last three overs! Like Bracken, Mitchell Johnson also took three wickets. All the bowlers except for Symonds were economical.
Gilchrist and Hayden haven’t got going in the warm-ups and the match against Zimbabwe but today made their innings counted. Their opening stand of 78 smashed England out of the game with the runs coming in 8.2 overs. Gilchrist’s onslaught of 45 with 5 fours and a six came in 28 balls. His partner Matthew Hayden saw the Aussies home with an unbeaten 67 from 43 which had 11 fours and a six. Ricky Ponting was the only other wicket to go down apart from Gilchrist after making 20 from 16. Australia stormed to victory with 31 balls to spare.