Scotland put up a brave fight against the mighty Aussies in their Group A Fixture at the Warner Park. Although the Scots had gone down by more than 200 runs, they forced the Aussies to field for 40 overs. Their bowling was pretty decent that didn’t allow the Kangaroos to post any world record total. The Aussies had piled up 334 on the board which is the minimum total one expects against the minnows of minnows. In the end, there was no embarrassment for Scotland at all and the Aussies on the other hand were given a useful practice out in the middle.
It started out to be a murky day and Craig Wright, the Scotland Skipper had invited Australia to bat first. Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden had to be watchful in the initial period with the ball nipping around but in no time both batsmen cut loose. But they couldn’t really smash Paul Hoffman who wasn’t going to oblige with any width. A six was struck by Hayden off this same bowler who wasn’t going to be intimidated by that and the bowling continued along with Craig Wright with the keeper standing upto the stumps. The first casualty was Adam Gilchrist falling a boundary short of a half century as he was foxed by a slower one from the experienced Dougie Brown, a former England One Day player. Hayden and Ponting then got engaged in a solid partnership with the latter being very aggressive. A little while after reaching his 30th ODI fifty, Hayden was given out lbw by Bucknor to the off spin of Majid Haq who went onto clean up Michael Clarke with a quicker delivery. Ricky Ponting never let the spinners – Glenn Rogers, left arm orthodox and Majid Haq the way they wanted to bowl. Ponting struck five clean sixes along with 9 boundaries to score 113 from 93 which is his fourth WC century.
The Aussies posted 334 for 6 with Brad Hogg surprising himself with a beautiful 40 from just 15 balls with the help of 3 fours and 3 sixes. The weather for this match was a fickle one with a couple of passing showers but there was not much stoppage in play. In reply to Australia’s huge total, Scotland had closed their innings at 131 for 9 with John Blain, the no. 11 absent hurt. Colin Smith, their wicket keeper batsman was the top scorer with an impressive maiden fifty. He was severe on Shaun Tait who had expensive figures of 2 for 45. It was Glenn McGrath wrecking the batting of the Scots with his 3 for 14 from 6 overs. The worry for the Aussies will be Tait’s erratic bowling which could prove costly against better batting line ups. The rest of the bowlers had a decent outing.