Australia recover after a subdued start to post 262/6

February 21st, 2011 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Feb 21 (IANS) Australia recovered from a slow start to post 262 for six against Zimbabwe in the World Cup Group A match here Monday.Electing to bat, the defending champions scored only 19 runs in the first seven overs with Zimbabwean slow bowlers sending economical spells and complimenting their only seamer Chris Mpofu (2-58), who made good use of the new ball.

Australian openers Shane Watson (79, 92 balls, 8×4, 1×6) and Brad Haddin (29, 66b, 3×4) chose to bide their time in the middle and looked rather restrained, with the first powerplay fetching only 28 runs.

But Watson soon cut loose, with Haddin happy playing the second fiddle and runs coming at a furious pace. Mpofu met a harsh treatment in his sixth over when he was tonked for 17 runs.

Watson and Haddin added 61 runs in their opening stand when Prosper Utseya gave his side the breakthrough by trapping Haddin leg before.

Skipper Ricky Ponting, playing his first international match after his finger injury in the Ashes, looked in good touch toting up 28 runs, and with Watson rustled up 79 runs for the second wicket before the two departed in quick succession.

Watson fell lbw to Graeme Cremer and an over later Ponting was found short of crease by an accurate throw by Mpofu from mid-wicket.

Michael Clarke (58 not out) and Cameron White (22) steadied the innings, adding 63 runs for the fourth wicket. The Zimbabwe bowlers did a a good job of taking wickets at regular intervals but Clarke carried his bat through to anchor the Australian innings.

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