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Australia spank England, enter Super Eights
September 14, 2007 21:45 IST
Australia shrugged off the embarrassment of their opening match defeat against lowly Zimbabwe and thumped England [Images] by eight wickets to book a Super Eight berth in the Twenty20 World Cup in Newlands, Cape Town, on Friday.
After skittling out Paul Collingwood's [Images] side for 135, the ODI world champions romped home in just 14.5 overs, riding on twin blitzkrieg knocks from openers Adam Gilchrist [Images] (45, 28b, 5x4, 1x6) and Matthew Hayden [Images] (67 not out, 43b, 11x4, 1x6).
With the victory, Australia not only moved to the next stage but also scuttled Kevin Pietersen's [Images] ambitions to "humiliate" them.
Despite the defeat England also advanced to the Super Eights from Group 'B' with Zimbabwe missing the cut because of an inferior run-rate.
Chasing 136 for a must-win, Australia seemed in tremendous hurry as Gilchrist and Hayden opened the innings. They openers notched up team's 50 in the seventh over and
was going great guns when Gilchrist went after Chris Schofield
only to see Andrew Flintoff [Images] running from long-on to take a
diving catch. Australia lost their first wicket at 78.
Hayden retaliated by hoicking Dimitri Mascarenhas for a six over long on and followed it with a reverse-swept boundary as Australia closed in on a win.
Flintoff caught Ricky Ponting [Images] (20) off his own bowling in the 14th over but by then, the writing was clear on the wall.
Hayden hit Schoefield for three successive fours to reduce the gap and then Andrew Symonds [Images] (2 not out) took a single to see the side through with 31 balls to spare.
Bracken's impressive spell of 4-0-16-3 earned him the Man of the Match award.
Earlier, opting to bat first, England lost wickets at regular intervals with Bracken and Mitchell Johnson (3-22) wreaking havoc with the ball.
England got off to a steady, if not spectacular, start reaching 29 inside five overs before Johnson drew first blood, getting Matt Prior [Images] (17) caught by Bracken.
The pacer in his next over removed next man Luke Wright (3) with Gilchrist pouching the catch behind the stumps.
Stuart Clarke then got rid of Darren Maddy (20) to reduce England to 48 for three as Collingwood joined Pietersen in the middle.
Much was expected from the duo but first Brett Lee [Images] trapped Collingwood for his lone wicket of the match and then Bracken castled Pietersen to deal a deadly blow. The left-arm pacer also scalped Owaish Shah and Stuart Broad to drop curtains on the English innings.
Batting mainstays Paul Collingwood (18) and Kevin Pietersen (21) failed to convert the starts and it was Flintoff, who played a 19-ball cameo of 31, with the help of four boundaries and a six, to push the score along.
Once Johnson dismissed the all-rounder to leave England reeling at 127 for six, it triggered a batting collapse and the innings eventually folded up after adding another 12 runs.