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Australia play down record spree
Brian Murgatroyd |
February 28, 2003 12:41 IST
Australia ripped up the record books in their World Cup victory over Namibia on Thursday before playing down the significance of their achievements.
Ricky Ponting's world champions thrashed the part-timers by 256 runs, the largest winning margin in one-day international history.
The victory was also Australia's 11th in succession in one-day cricket, equalling the mark set by the great West Indies side of the 1980s.
On top of those team achievements, there was individual glory for Glenn McGrath, Darren Lehmann and Adam Gilchrist.
Lehmann smashed 28 runs from one over, the most in World Cup history; McGrath completed bowling figures of seven for 15, the best ever in the World Cup and his one-day international career; and Gilchrist took six catches behind the stumps, equalling the one-day mark he already held.
Despite all those achievements, however, Ponting preferred to focus on the team's march towards defending their world title.
"We have got another record to break in our next match if we can beat England," he told reporters as he looked forward to Australia's next game and the possibility of a 12th straight win.
"That is our goal but we won't go away and talk about breaking records," he added. "We will just go away, prepare as we always have, get our plans worked out and if we execute them well as we have done we should play a good game against England.
"I sure the records mean something to Glenn, Adam and those guys but they are the sign of a very good team, full of great individual players.
"Some of the records today show a lot about the quality of players in our side and the strength of our side," he added.
Lehmann started the record-breaking feats by clubbing 28 from the final over of the Australian innings, bowled by Namibia medium-pacer Rudi van Vuuren.
Lehmann struck 4, 4, 4, 6, 4, 6 to pass the previous World Cup record of 26 set by West Indian Brian Lara last Sunday against Canada.
That punishment also helped to give the unfortunate Van Vuuren the fourth worst bowling analysis in one-day history as he finished with 10 overs for 92 runs.
"I knew how many I had hit off the over but I didn't know about the record until you told me," Lehmann told Reuters.
"I didn't know we had achieved all those records either and we have not chatted about it as a team, all we were looking to do was the job in hand, making sure we were clinical so we could take that confidence into our next game.
"Records are great, they are a pat on the back, but when you are out there playing it doesn't matter.
"We have not been all that prominent in individual statistics tables before today and that is the sign of a good team. Records are nice but our aim is more on winning our next match," he added.
McGrath's figures eclipsed the previous best in World Cup history, the seven for 51 by West Indian fast bowler Winston Davis against Australia in 1983.
McGrath's haul was also the best of his one-day international career, surpassing the five for 14 he took against West Indies at the 1999 World Cup.
For Gilchrist, there was the satisfaction of taking six catches for the third time in his career, equalling the mark for most dismissals in a one-day international innings by a wicketkeeper.
The Australia vice-captain also shares the mark with Alec Stewart of England and West Indian Ridley Jacobs.
Even though Namibia suffered the heaviest ever one-day loss, they did manage to avoid the indignity of the lowest score in one-day history. That is still held by Canada who were bowled out for 36 by Sri Lanka earlier in the current tournament.
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