Australia ease past Canada

Aussies cruise to 34th successive win at the Cricket World Cup beating minnows Canada by seven wickets in Group A.

    Canada's teenage opener Hiral Patel scored his maiden ODI 50 in a confident display against Australia [GALLO/GETTY]

    Defending champions Australia sealed an easy win over minnows Canada by seven wickets at the Cricket World Cup on Wednesday.

    Shane Watson and Brad Haddin put on a commanding opening stand of 183 in Bangalore to put Australia at the top of Group A with one round game remaining.

    After failing to bowl out Kenya on Sunday, Australia's bowling attack endured an early batting onslaught from teenager Hiral Patel, who smashed a dazzling 37-ball half century that helped Canada reach 50 faster than any team in the tournament.

    But old hand Brett Lee took 4-46 to lead the Australian recovery as Canada were bowled out for 211 in 45.4 overs. Australia finished on 212 for three in reply.

    Australia take their unbeaten World Cup run to 34 matches and remain the only side without defeat at the tournament. Ricky Ponting's squad can finish at the top of Group A with a win over Pakistan at Colombo on Saturday.

    "We haven't been fully tested yet, but we will be by Pakistan in Colombo and we are looking forward to it," said skipper Ponting.

    Openers firing

    Having already booked a place in the quarter-finals, Australia first ripped out Canada for 211 after some initial resistance, and then openers Watson (94) and Haddin (88) chased down the majority of those runs.

    Canada v Australia scorecard

    Canada innings
    H Patel c Johnson b Watson 54
    J Davison c Haddin b Lee 14
    Z Surkari b Tait 34
    A Bagai c Haddin b Tait 39
    A Hansra c Lee b Krejza 3
    R Cheema b Lee 2
    N Kumar c Tait b Johnson 7
    K Whatham b Lee 18
    H Baidwan c Ponting b Krejza 17
    W Balaji Rao b Lee 5
    H Osinde not out 2
    Extras: 16
    Total: (all out; 45.4 overs) 211
    Fall of wickets: 1-41 2-82 3-150 4-157 5-157 6-161 7-169 8-195 9-204 10-211

    Australia innings
    S Watson c Osinde b Baidwan 94
    B Haddin c Bagai b Davison 88
    R Ponting c Davison b Osinde 7
    M Clarke not out 16
    C White not out 4
    Extras 3
    Total: (for three wickets; 34.5 overs) 212
    Fall of wickets: 1-183 2-185 3-207

    Watson and Haddin saw out the initial overs and took the score to 94 in 21 overs and then cut loose after taking the batting powerplay.

    Watson, dropped in the second over by Rizwan Cheema, was the more aggressive after the powerplay, hammering nine fours and four huge sixes in his 90-ball knock.

    Haddin rode his luck and matched Watson shot-for-shot in his 84-ball innings until his luck finally ran out in the 29th over when he was caught behind off the bowling of John Davison, who retired from international cricket after this match.

    Four balls later Watson was caught on the boundary off the bowling of Harvir Baidwan trying to reach his century with another six.


    Earlier, Canada could not capitalise on opener Hiral Patel's whirlwind half-century as the Australian pace bowlers put on a fearsome display of bowling to run though the North American's middle and late order batting.

    Opting to bat after winning the toss, 19-year-old Patel slammed a 45-ball 54, including one six each off Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson in his hour-long stay at the crease.

    Canada blazed 77 in 10 overs and Patel eventually fell trying to whack the fourth of the Australian pace quartet, Watson, for a six.

    After Patel's exit, Canada's run rate slowed dramatically as their captain Ashish Bagai (39) and Zubin Surkari (34) rebuilt the innings and took the score to the 150 mark in the 29th over, before both fell to Tait.

    The Aussie speedsters then took over and Canada crumbled from a comfortable 150-2 to 161-6 in the space of 19 deliveries and barely crawled over the 200 mark.

    Lee finished with four for 46, Tait picked up two for 34 while Johnson chipped in with one.

    Canada exit the tournament with one win and five losses but, just like Kenya can at least depart having given the four-time World Cup winners some uncomfortable moments.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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