Australia beat The Netherlands by a massive 230-run margin to win their second World Cup match at Warner Park on Sunday. Australia now lead their group with four points.
Chasing a massive 359-run target, the Dutch were skittled out for a paltry total of 129 runs in 26.5 overs in the Group A match at St Kitts.
The Netherlands failed to withstand the Australian bowling attack after Hodge and Clarke steered the Aussies to a massive total. After an impressive show with the bat, Australia ran through the Dutch batting line-up as wickets fell like ninepins.
Electing to field, the Dutch got an early breakthrough in the game as Tim de Leede scalped the prized wicket of Mathew Hayden for 29. Displaying sheer inexperience, the fielders earlier dropped two simple catches.
Seamer de Leede struck back to dismiss Adam Gilchrist, who completed his seventh World Cup half-century, the most by a wicketkeeper batsman in a World Cup. In the next over, Ryan ten Doeschate removed big fish Ricky Ponting for 23.
Hodge completed his fourth ODI fifty, his first in a World Cup, while Clarke hit his maiden WC half-century. Brad Hodge, later went on to score his first ODI century.
The duo registered the best fourth wicket partnership in the World Cups with 206 runs. This was the seventh 200+ partnership in World Cup, the third by an Australian pair.
Peter Borren bowled Hodge for 123 off 89 balls. The last dismissal of Michael Hussey did not do much harm to the Australian side as they had already crossed the 300-run milepost. A few more shots from Watson and Clarke took the team to a total of 358 at the loss of only five wickets in 50 overs.
Glenn McGrath picked two important wickets for Australia - first removing Holland skipper Luuk van Troost for a duck and later Daan van Bunge, the highest scorer of the Dutch innings with his 33 off 33 balls. With that McGrath equalled Wasim Akram's record of taking 50 wickets in World Cup.
Brad Hogg was the most successful bowler for Australia, picking four wickets of Tim de Leede (14), Jeroen Smits (3), Peter Borren (24) and Mark Jonkman (0). Nathan Bracken too, proved lucky despatching three - Darron Reekers (25), Alexei Kervezee (0) and Bas Zuiderent (9). Ryan ten Doeschate found it hard to resist a dig off Shaun Tait, returning at one.
Australia, who beat Scotland by 202 runs in their opening match did not make any changes in their playing eleven. However, The Netherlands, who received a 221-run drubbing at the hands of South Africa, made two changes in their line-up.
This was the third time that a side has conceded over 300 runs in consecutive games in a World Cup. Sri Lanka had conceded it twice, in 1979 and 1983.
Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Adam Gilchrist, Nathan Bracken, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Michael Hussey, Glenn McGrath, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson.
Netherlands: Luuk van Troost (capt), Daan van Bunge, Ryan ten Doeschate, Alexei Kervezee, Tim de Leede, Peter Borren, Adeel Raja, Mark Jonkman, Darron Reekers, Jeroen Smits, Bas Zuiderent.