Australia trounce minnows Canada by seven wickets (Roundup)

March 16th, 2011 - 11:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, March 16 (IANS) Australian openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin put up 183 runs as the defending champions coasted to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over minnows Canada in a World Cup Group A match here Wednesday.

Set to score a modest 212, Watson slammed 94 and Haddin 88 to take the team home in 34.5 overs.

Canada, however, had their moments in the match when teenaged Hiral Patel gave them an explosive start, launching an audacious assault on the Australian pacers. The 19-year-old hit 54 off 45 balls, smacking three sixes and five fours. Riding on Patel’s blitz, Canada scored the fastest 50 in this World Cup in 4.5 overs.

Watson and Haddin paid Canada back, hitting the bowlers all over the park. Man-of-the-Match Watson hit nine fours and four sixes while Haddin struck 11 fours and two sixes.

After putting up a 183 first-wicket partnership in 28 overs and ensuring an easy win, Haddin and Watson departed in quick succession, leaving the formalities to skipper Ricky Ponting and vice captain Michael Clarke (16).

But Henry Osinde had Ponting caught by veteran John Davison for seven, forcing Cameron White to join Clarke to post the winning run.

Australia top Group A with nine points from four wins and one point from a drawn tie against Sri Lanka. Canada lies low, above Kenya at the bottom, with two points.

But Australia were given some anxious moment by Canada, who after electing to bat, got off to a flier.

Patel and veteran John Davison (14) began the innings on a fiery note, blasting Australian speedsters Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson all over the green turf.

Though Davison departed cheaply, after hitting three fours, caught behind by Brad Haddin off Lee, Patel continued to hammer the seamers.

The diminutive Patel scored his maiden World Cup half-century and single-handedly took on the firepower of Lee, Tait and Jonhson, ripping apart arguably the world’s fastest attack.

Ahmedabad-born Patel came down heavily on Lee, smacking him for three fours in the second over of the innings.

In the next over, Patel ferociously launched Tait’s 148.5km missile over extra cover for a six.

Veteran Davison, playing his last ODI, hit Lee for two successive fours before being dismissed in the next ball.

Patel continued in the same fashion and left-arm seamer Johnson found himself at the receiving end. Patel slashed one past backward point for a four and swung his bat for a six over third man.

Rattled by the assault, Lee hurled bouncers. Patel, after evading a few, hooked the last ball of the sixth over for six.

Patel’s 50 came in 37 balls with five fours and three sixes. He was finally out to Shane Watson, attempting to clear the third man boundary, but was caught by Johnson.

After he left with the score at 82 in 11.3 overs, Zubin Surkari (34) and Bagai (39) steadied the innings without further damage to cross 150 on board in 28.2 overs.

But Bagai’s exit led to a middle order collapse, resulting in the underdogs losing five wickets in nine overs for a mere 17 runs. The Australian pacers came back to skittle the Canada innings. Lee, whose first three overs went for 32 runs, finished with four for 46. Tait and Jason Krejza took two wickets each.

A rearguard attempt by tail-enders Karl Whatham (18) and Harvir Baidwan (17) enabled Canada to cross the 200-mark before folding up in the 46th over.

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