Australia thrash World XI by 93 runs in first ODI
Australia exploded the myth of their decline as cricket's super power with a convincing 93-run victory over a star-studded World XI in the opening One-Day International of the ICC Super Series here on Wednesday.
The three-time World Champions produced a solid batting display to put up a challenging 255 for eight, and then followed it up with an immaculate bowling performance to dismiss the World XI for 163 with more than eight overs to spare.
The World XI were reduced to smithereens by the blistering force of the Aussies as only two of the specialists in the star-studded line up managed to reach double figures. Shane Watson was the pick of the Australian bowlers with three for 43 off 10 overs and a run out. He was adjudged the Man of the Match.
India's swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid found themselves undone by the searing pace and steep bounce of the track at the roofed Telstra Dome stadium.
Only Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara (64) and England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff (38) managed to emerge unscathed.
The Aussies had been under pressure following their recent Ashes loss to England with critics writing mock obituaries on the death of the 'Invincibles'.
But Ricky Ponting's men came up with a typical domineering cricket to outclass their rival team which was a collection of the best in contemporary cricket.
The World XI led by South African Shaun Pollock were simply outclassed in all departments of the game.
The second ODI would be played at the same venue on Friday with the third and final match on Sunday. The lone six-day Test would be played at Sydney from October 14 to 19.
World XI's spin magic
Earlier, New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori took four wickets and Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan grabbed two for the World XI to restrict Australia to 255 for eight.
Vettori finished with four for 33 off his 10 overs, which he bowled unchanged. Muralitharan, who was substituted by Shaihid Afridi at the end of the 43rd over, had figures of two for 41 from 10.
Simon Katich (58) and Adam Gilchrist (45) put on a 80-run opening partnership after captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and chose to bat in front of a crowd of fewer than 5,000 at the start of play at Docklands Stadium. At this stage Australia were looking at a total of over 300 runs.
But the World XI bowlers, particulalrly spinners, came back into the game brilliantly, picking wickets at regular intervals. The last six wickets fell into spinners' kitty.
Vettori and Muralitharan's tight bowling and poor shot selection by the Australians then sparked a middle-order collapse that was only halted by a 52-run sixth-wicket partnership betwen Mike Hussey (32) and Andrew Symonds (36).
Australia innings: 255/8 in 50 overs
A. Gilchrist b Kallis 45
S. Katich c and b Muralitharan 58
R. Ponting c Lara b Pollock 23
D. Martyn c Vettori b Muralitharan 0
A. Symonds c Flintoff b Vettori 36
M. Clarke c and b Vettori 6
M. Hussey c Pietersen b Vettori 32
S. Watson c Lara b Vettori 8
B. Lee not out 26
N. Bracken not out 2
Extras: (b2, lb6, w6, nb5) 19
Did not bat: G. McGrath
Fall of wickets:
1-80, 2-128, 3-128, 4-142, 5-154, 6-206, 7-223, 8-231
Shoaib: 9-1-49-0 (3nb, 1w)
Flintoff: 9-1-66-0 (1nb, 3w)
Kallis: 4-0-26-1 (1nb, 1w)
Muralitharan: 10-0-41-2 (1w)
World XI Innings
K. Sangakkara c Ponting b Watson 64
V. Sehwag c Hussey b McGrath 6
J. Kallis lbw b McGrath 8
B. Lara c Symonds b Bracken 0
R. Dravid c Ponting b Lee 4
K. Pietersen lbw b Watson 2
A. Flintoff c McGrath b Watson 38
S. Afridi lbw b Symonds 2
S. Pollock run out 5
D. Vettori c Ponting b Lee 15
S. Akhtar not out 10
Extras: (lb-1 nb-1 w-6) 8
Total: (all out, 41.3 overs) 162
Fall of wickets:
1-18 2-45 3-50 4-75 5-82 6-101 7-104 8-118 9-150 10-162
Bret Lee: 7.3 - 2 - 31 - 2 (nb-1 w-2)
McGrath 7 - 1 - 13 - 2 (w-1)
Bracken 8 - 0 - 36 - 1 (w-1)
Watson 10 - 0 - 43 - 3 (w-1)
Symonds 9 - 0 - 38 - 1 (w-1)