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Images: Clinical Aussies overcome Kiwis

Last updated on: February 25, 2011 18:11 IST

Australia produce clinical show

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Defending champions Australia dished out a clinical display to outplay Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand and notch a comprehensive seven-wicket victory with 16 overs to spare, in a Group A game of the World Cup in Nagpur on Friday.

- Scorecard

Ricky Ponting's boys raised their game and proved the far superior side in every department. This was Ponting's 24th consecutive victory as Australia captain in World Cups.


Image: Mitchell Johnson celebrates after claiming a wicket
Photographs: Getty Images
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Pacers did their job perfectly

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With a modest target of 207 to chase, Australia's openers Shane Watson (62) and Brad Haddin (55) sent the Kiwi bowlers on a leather hunt during an opening partnership of 131 in only 18 overs.

This was after the Aussie pacers, led by Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait, produced a hostile spell of fast bowling to decimate the opposition in only 45.1 overs at the Vidarbha Cricket Association ground.

Both Tait (3/35) and Johnson (4/33) bowled with pace and accuracy which made lives difficult for the opposition batsmen.


Image: Mitchell Johnson
Photographs: Reuters
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Aussie openers off to good start

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The New Zealand team, still disturbed due to the tragedy back home, never looked like competing in the first place. Their bowlers, especially Hamish Bennett, sprayed all over the place as Watson and Haddin took them to cleaners.

Haddin's innings was a contrast to his painstaking 29 against Zimbabwe on Monday as he blasted his way to a half century in only 39 balls. This was the wicket-keeper batsman's 12th half century in 78th ODI.

Watson, who started off slowly after getting reprieve due to Umpires Review (Tim Southee was the bowler), got into the act and literally toyed with slower bowlers like Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum.

Watson produced some typical slogs with great effect on the way to his 21st fifty.

By the time, Haddin holed out in the deep off Hamish Bennett, and Watson played on, the writing was on the wall for New Zealand. Ponting (12) again failed to deliver but victory was just a formality then.


Image: Shane Watson launches into a slog

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McCullum stands tall amidst the ruins

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Earlier, Nathan McCullum stood tall amidst the ruins with a fighting half century. Courtesy Nathan's (52) rearguard action, New Zealand were able to cross the 200-run mark after Aussie bowlers blew away the top-six within 17 overs with 73 on board.

He shared 48 runs for the seventh wicket with Jamie How (22) and 54 with Vettori (44).

After overnight rain, Ponting elected to field as conditions were bit overcast. Ideally, he would have liked his speedsters to extract all the help available from the strip.


Image: Nathan McCullum
Photographs: Getty Images
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Aus share in Kiwi grief

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The Australian pace duo of Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait vindicated captain Ricky Ponting's decision to field first by skittling trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand for 206 on Friday.

After a sombre start to the day, in which the teams observed a minute's silence following Tuesday's devastating earthquake in Christchurch, Johnson (four for 33) and Tait (three for 35) shared seven wickets among themselves.

Brett Lee and Shane Watson also chipped in with a wicket apiece, while Steve Smith was the only spinner to pick up a wicket.


Image: The New Zealand and Australian teams share a moment in support of victims of the earthquake
Photographs: Getty Images
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Kiwis struggle to keep emotions in check

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Australia went with an unchanged side from their last match against Zimbabwe while New Zealand brought in batsman Jamie How in place of all-rounder Jacob Oram.

Both teams wore black arm-bands and the New Zealand flag flew at half mast in memory of the victims of the earthquake, which has claimed at least 113 lives with 228 people still missing.

Some of New Zealand players struggled to keep their emotions in check as they linked arms while their national anthem was being played before the start of the match.


Image: Ricky Ponting wears a black armband in memory of the Christchurch earthquake victims
Photographs: Getty Images
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