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Kenya make Australia toil for victory

March 13, 2011 22:53 IST

Inspired by Michael Clarke's 80-ball 93, Australia produced a splendid batting display to notch an emphatic 60-run victory over Kenya in their Group A match and ease into the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Bangalore on Sunday.

Clarke and fit-again Michael Hussey (54) forged a fifth-wicket partnership of 114 runs to help Australia post a challenging 324-6 after losing three wickets for just 16 runs and 143-4 at one stage.

- Scorecard | Images

Collins Obuya (98 not out) and Tanmay Mishra (72) starred in Kenya's run chase but were never in the hunt and restricted to 264-6, as Australia stretched their unbeaten run at the World Cup to 33 matches.

Australia is now placed third in the Group A table, which is headed by New Zealand after their win against Canada in Mumbai earlier on Sunday.

Sri Lanka is in second place with seven points from five matches.

Australia take on Canada and Pakistan in their last two league matches.

Michael ClarkeChasing 325 to win, Kenya were reduced to 46 for three, but Collins and Mishra shared a 155-ball 115-run partnership to lift Kenya to 161 for four.

Collins added another 86 runs off 72 balls with Thomas Odoyo (35) but in the end it proved too tall a mountain to climb for the Kenyans at the Chinnaswamy stadium.

Fast bowlers Brett Lee and Shaun Tait dealt the initial blows, removing openers Maurice Ouma (4) and Alex Obanda (14) to reduce Kenya to 21-2 in four overs.

A terrible mix up between the Obuyo brothers cost David his wicket as the minnows slumped to 46-3 in 9.4 overs. However, Collins and Mishra ensured there were no more hiccups and brought up the hundred in 20.6 overs.

The 24-year-old India-born Mishra blasted eight fours and a six en route to his second World Cup fifty before falling to a brilliant run-out by Clarke in the 36th over.

Collins and Thomas Odoyo then took Kenya across the 200-mark with a 86-run partnership after taking their batting powerplay between the 42nd to 46th over.

Tait claimed the last wicket of the day, cleaning up Thomas in the 48th over, while Collins remained unbeaten with a career-best score of 98 in the end. His 129-ball innings was laced with nine fours and three sixes.

Tait was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Lee accounted for one.

Earlier, electing to bat after winning the toss, the Australians played it steady with Clarke scoring an 80-ball 93 while Brad Haddin (65) and Hussey (54) hit fifties.

For Kenya, Nehemiah Odhiambo and skipper Jimmy Kamande were the pick of the bowlers sharing five of the six Australian wickets that fell.

While Odhiambo had figures of 3 for 57 in his 10 overs, Kamande scalped two.

It was a slow start to the proceedings with the Aussies losing their first wicket pretty early when opener Shane Watson (21) nicked one to wicketkeeper Maurice Ouma while attempting a cut off Nehemia Odhiambo.

Watson struck three boundaries and a six in his 17-ball cameo.

In came skipper Ricky Ponting and steadily put on 89 runs for the third wicket with Haddin. But Kamande managed to break the steady partnership when he had Haddin caught by Rakep Patel at deep midwicket.

Haddin, who perished in his attempt to go over the ropes, took 79 balls for his knock that was studded with nine fours and a six.

Four runs and exactly an over later, it was Ponting's turn to head back to the pavillion when the Aussie captain was adjudged leg-before to Collins Obuya after a successful review by Kenya.

Ponting, who contributed an uncharacteristically slow 54-ball 36, was attempting to work the ball on the leg side when he got hit on the pad.

Umpire Richard Kettleborough ruled him not out but Kenya asked for a review and in replays it showed that the ball was hitting middle and leg stump.

Cameron White's (2) poor run continued and he faced just one over before Kamande rattled his middle stump with his off-spin.

But Clarke and Hussey ensured that the Aussies didn't feel any other hiccups for a considerable period and built a 114-run partnership for the fifth wicket before the latter was caught by David Obuya while attempting to strike Odhiambo over long-on.

Hussey's 43-ball knock comprised four boundaries.

Clarke looked well set for his maiden World Cup and sixth ODI hundred but fell short by seven runs when he holed out to Rakep Patel at long on off Odhiambo.

Photograph: Getty Images

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