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Australia are beatable, says defeated Vaughan

Michael Vaughan insists the Aussie are beatable at this WC despite seeing his side faced a convincing defeat against the champions.

cricket Updated: Apr 09, 2007 20:31 IST
Julian Guyer
Julian Guyer

England captain Michael Vaughan insisted Australia were beatable at this World Cup despite seeing his side go down to a convincing seven-wicket defeat against the reigning champions.

Australia, bidding for an unprecedented third straight title, have now gone 24 matches unbeaten at the World Cup since losing to Pakistan in 1999.

Yet there were moments in Sunday's match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium where England had their oldest foes on the ropes.

At 164 for two, with Kevin Pietersen whose 104 was England's first individual hundred of the tournament and Ian Bell (77) going well in a stand of 140, Vaughan's team looked on course for a score of around 280.

But instead they were bowled out for 247 with veteran Glenn McGrath taking the key wicket of Bell and man-of-the-match Shaun Tait, who'd removed both openers, ensuring England then lost two quick wickets by getting rid of the dangerous Paul Collingwood.

Yet McGrath, in what could be his last match against England, had seen his first three overs go for 25 runs while Michael Clarke and Andrew Symonds conceded 67 in their combined 10-over stint.

"They are looking a real powerhouse at the World Cup but I still think they are beatable," said Vaughan, who suffered yet another batting failure after playing on to fast bowler Tait for five.

"No one team in the world is unbeatable and I'm sure if good teams come up against them and if we meet them again I'd be confident we could produce a performance to beat them."

"It's very frustrating. We were in a great position to put Australia under a huge amount of pressure."

England now need to win their three remaining Super Eights games against Bangladesh, South Africa and West Indies and hope other results fall in their favour to reach the semi-finals.

"We'll need to win those three games but we're certainly a team that can do that," added Vaughan.

Well though Pietersen played, runs dried up late on with England scoring a mere 51 off the last 10 overs.

"One of our strengths over the last few games is that in the last 10 overs we've been able to hit 70, 80 runs quite easily and today we just lost wickets at key periods and put Kevin under a lot of pressure in that last 10 overs," Vaughan explained.

Bangladesh, who in the group phase beat India, upset the formbook again on Saturday with a comprehensive 67-run defeat of former world number one side South Africa.

"They look a dangerous team. The spinners, the three of them play a huge part," Vaughan said ahead of Wednesday's match against the Asian side in Barbados.

"(Mashrafe) Mortaza is a good opening bowler and the left-armer (Syed Rasel) at the top looks like he's quite hard to hit.

"They are a huge threat. Any team that's beaten India and South Africa in a World Cup have got to be taken seriously."

Vaughan's early exit after winning the toss meant he'd now scored just 83 runs from six tournament innings.

His form was thrown into sharper focus by Australia captain Ricky Ponting's composed 86, the skipper's third-wicket stand of 112 with Michael Clarke (55 not out) all but seeing his side home.

Vaughan was at a loss to explain his mediocre one-day international record, he's yet to score a century in 83 matches.

"If I knew I'd have plenty of runs. It's as frustrating for me as it is for everyone watching. It's just not happening. That's sometimes the way batting goes."

First Published: Apr 09, 2007 20:11 IST

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