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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Dramatic win for Australia

March 02, 2003 22:08 IST

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Andy Bichel produced a man-of-the-match all-round performance as Australia edged out England by two wickets in World Cup Group A on Sunday to seal a world record 12th straight one-day win.

Bichel completed figures of seven for 20, the second best in the tournament's history, before making 34 not out in a ninth-wicket partnership of 73 with Michael Bevan that gave their side victory with two balls to spare.

Bevan (74 not out) and Bichel led Australia's recovery from 135 for eight, giving the world champions a maximum 12 points to carry into the Super Sixes. England will have to wait until Zimbabwe's match against Pakistan on Tuesday to discover whether they progress to the next round.

England, who have now lost their last 14 one-day matches against Australia, must hope Pakistan beat Zimbabwe but do so without improving their net run-rate enough to overtake them. A Zimbabwe win would end Nasser Hussain's side's interest in the tournament

An enthralling match at St George's Park ebbed and flowed throughout the day with Bichel's seven-wicket haul looking likely to set up a routine Australian victory as England mustered a paltry 204 for eight from 50 overs.

Bichel, who only played because of a heel injury to Jason Gillespie, removed the heart of England's middle order with four for 12 in his first spell after Nick Knight (30) and Marcus Trescothick (37) had given the innings a promising start.

Alec Stewart (46) and Andrew Flintoff (45) gave the total a semblance of respectability with an England World Cup record eighth-wicket stand but Bichel returned to dismiss both batsmen along with Ashley Giles.

Australian openers Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden gave the England bowlers a bruising time on the recent Ashes tour and it seemed a familiar theme was unfolding when James Anderson conceded 15 off the second over.

England responded in the second over when Hayden attempted to hit Caddick into the leg side but only succeeded in getting a top edge and Giles held the catch at mid-on.


Two overs later Gilchrist (22) fell in similar attacking fashion, top-edging a cut to Michael Vaughan at third man, and when Damien Martyn fell leg before three balls later for a duck Australia were in trouble at 33 for three.

Ricky Ponting struck Caddick for six in the ninth over but the bowler gained his revenge two balls later when the Australian captain top-edged a pull and was caught at third man for 18.

At 48 for four Australia desperately needed a partnership and it was provided by Darren Lehmann and Bevan. The pair put on 63 for the fifth wicket and were only separated when Craig White came round the wicket and tempted Lehmann, who made 37, into edging a wide delivery behind.

Left-arm spinner Giles then claimed the first World Cup wickets of his career when Andrew Symonds (0) was caught and bowled and Brad Hogg was caught by wicketkeeper Stewart.

When Brett Lee was run out England were in total control but Bevan proved why he is regarded as one of the world's best batsmen. He looked totally unruffled and with Bichel's confidence high England needed another breakthrough as Australia edged closer to victory.

Hussain decided against bringing Caddick back at the death and instead threw the ball to Anderson who was hit for a six by Bichel in the penultimate over to leave Australia requiring two off the final six balls.

Bevan hit the winning runs with two balls to spare to leave England on their knees and with an anxious wait ahead of them to see if a second World Cup campaign is to end at the first round hurdle.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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Number of User Comments: 2

Sub: Bevan is GOD

forget them all, ya even sachin! no doubt Bevan is the best. had that guy ever failed his team? whatever the situation, he will come ...

Posted by giriraj sharma

Sub: Well Thought OUT PLAN

Its a very well calculated move by Eng.Since preventing Zim from winning is not in eng hands.Now by giving Pak a little chance what england ...



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