Australia on top of the World
Adam Gilchrist scored Australia's fastest limited overs century to help his country wrap up their one-day series against the World XI with a 55-run victory on Friday.
The hosts made 328 for four and the World XI, despite some belligerent top-order hitting from Kumar Sangakkara (61) and Chris Gayle (54), were unable to sustain the 6.58 runs needed for victory.
The loss of three wickets for six runs in the middle order effectively ended their chance of notching up what would have been the second-highest score in a chase to win a one-day international, and they were all out for 273 off 45.3 overs.
Australia won the first match of the series by 93 runs on Wednesday. The final game is on Sunday.
Gilchrist stroked, tickled, flicked and bludgeoned his way to his 12th one-day century, a 79-ball 103 characterised by shots of bristling aggression.
His century was brought up in 73 balls, beating the record he had shared with Allan Border of 78 balls.
Captain Ricky Ponting, who won the toss and chose to bat for the second straight match, scored 66 before being run out while Damien Martyn (54) and Simon Katich (47) also made useful contributions.
Andrew Symonds (31 not out) and Michael Clarke (17 not out) kept the run rate up at the end of the innings to push the world champions to their daunting final total.
Virender Shewag got the international selection off to a good start by smashing the under-strength Australian attack for 21 runs off 15 balls before he ballooned a short ball from Brett Lee to Ponting.
Gayle then took the initiative and began to hit to all parts of the ground in an over that yielded 21 runs, including one astonishing six off Lee that sailed high over deep extra cover and several rows into the crowd.
Once he brought up his 24th one-day international half-century with a single off Shane Watson, however, his scoring dropped appreciably and was caught by Gilchrist off Watson for 54.
Sangakkara continued to score freely and raced to 61 off 44 balls before he was run out with the score on 151 when Jacques Kallis failed to respond to his call.
Brian Lara, who made a duck on Wednesday, failed again when he was caught by Symonds off Nathan Bracken for five and then Kallis was run out for 11 to leave the World XI on 157 for five with 26.4 overs still to be bowled.
Rahul Dravid (28) and Andrew Flintoff (42) attempted to rebuild the innings with a patient 64-run partnership but when Flintoff mistimed a Bracken delivery and spooned a catch to Symonds in the covers in the 37th over, the match was as good as over.
Kevin Pietersen, who injured his right hamstring in the Australian innings and will have a precautionary scan, batted with a runner for his 16.
A. Gilchrist b Sehwag 103
S. Katich b Muralitharan 47
R. Ponting run out (Flintoff) 66
D. Martyn b Flintoff 54
A. Symonds not out 31
M. Clarke not out 17
Extras: 10 (lb4, w1, nb5)
Total: 328/4 in 50 overs
Fall of wickets: 1-110, 2-173, 3-276, 4-276
World XI innings
V. Sehwag c Ponting b Lee 21
C. Gayle c Gilchrist b Watson 54
K. Sangakkara run out (Martyn) 61
J. Kallis run out (Ponting) 11
B. Lara c Symonds b Bracken 5
R. Dravid b Symonds 26
A. Flintoff c Symonds b Bracken 42
K. Pietersen c Watson b Clark 16
S. Pollock c White b Clark 15
D. Vettori not out 10
S. Akhtar c Watson b Bracken 2
Extras: 10 (lb1, w6, nb3)
Total: 273 (all out, 45.3 overs)
Fall of wickets:
1-27, 2-125, 3-151, 4-157, 5-157, 6-220, 7-235, 8-250, 9-267, 10-273
(Gayle replaced Murali as a super sub)
Symonds 8-0-49-1 (2w), White 3-0-22-0 (1w)
(White replaced Katich as a super sub)
Man-of-the-match: Adam Gilchrist