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Kangaroos too strong for the Tigers

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The Kangaroos proved to be too strong and muscular for the Tigers in what was a rain truncated affair at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium. The match conditions were not at all in favour of the Banglas as they just had the 22 overs to put up a total and then their three spinners have the option of only restricting the batsmen. None of this was possible with the Australians blasting their way to a 10-wicket win.

A wet outfield delayed the start of the match by as many as five hours. The match got underway at 18:30 GMT with Ricky Ponting asking Bangladesh to take first strike on a hard wicket at Antigua. The wicket as expected did have the moisture because of the sweating under the covers but that wasn’t going to be an issue in a shortened game of 22 overs per side. Bangladeshis lost too many wickets too quickly and could never ever recover. They were infact in danger of getting bowled out but fortunately for them, Saqibul Hasan (25 from 36 with a six) and Habibul Bashar (24 from 43) dropped anchor to get some respectability. Mashrafe Mortaza came good with the long handle smashing 25 from 17 with two fours and a six off Symonds to take Bangladesh to 104 for 6 at close.

The Bangladeshi young batsmen were foxed in going for the big and reckless shots by Glenn McGrath, who smartly mixed up his pace along with the lengths. McGrath took three wickets conceding only 16 runs in his 5 overs. He also went past Wasim Akram to become the highest wicket taker in World Cup history. The only negative for the Champs was Shane Watson pulling out mid way in an over due to a calf muscle strain.

The target was hardly anything for the bulls led by Matthew Hayden, who simply is in intimidating form. But the pair of Gilchrist and Hayden took a bit too long according to their standards to get the 105. They took 13.5 overs to reach their with Abdur Razzak delaying the victory by bowling way too quick and flatter in the air. Gilchrist reached a milestone, that of scoring his 50th half century. Gilly played 44 balls for his 59 with 8 fours and a six. Hayden didn’t get enough opportunities to complete a fifty, he had to settle with 47 from 39 with 3 fours and 3 sixes. Another factor that had slowed down the Australian charge was the fact that the outfield was on the slower side due to the overnight rain. The Man of the Match award went to the nagging Glenn McGrath.

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