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    October 05, 2005

    Australia draw first blood

    Australia seemed to forget the Ashes wounds and inflicted quite a heavy defeat on the ICC World XI in the first one-dayer of the Super Series at Melbourne today. Gilchrist started briskly after Pollock called wrongly at the toss and Australia seemed to go along well with Katich playing a very scratchy innings initially, but later finished as the top-scorer for Australia. After Gilchrist was castled by Kallis, Ponting seemed to be in a hurry with a flurry of strokes and fell to Pollock soon. At this point, Australia were cruising at almost 6 rpo. Muralitharan then settled into his rhythm and accounted for Martyn (0) and Katich soon. But quite easily, the pick of the bowler was Vettori who bowled with guile and accuracy and ended up with 4/33 off his 10 over quota. Symonds and Hussey managed to get into the 30s while Clarke and Watson failed to reach double-digits. With some proper slogging by Lee towards the end, Australia ended up with 255/8, which finally proved to be very good as they won by 93 runs.

    The ICC World XI started their innings very slowly with McGrath demonstrating yet another time his excellent line and length and keeping the batsmen tight. Sehwag was looking his own self and fell to the master soon. Kallis who came in at #3 lasted for quite some time, but couldn't get the runs flowing, also fell to McGrath - finished with 2/13 from 7 overs. Bracken then struck the big blow by getting rid of Lara for a duck - Symonds caught him at cover. The ever-reliable Dravid and the new sensation Pietersen also fell in quick succession, courtesy Lee and Watson respectively. While all these were going on, the wicket-keeper bastman from the emerald isle was playing some bold shots and notched up a half-century to his name before falling to Watson. Afridi (the super sub) and Pollock, who came in to accompany Flintoff, too fell cheaply. Flintoff and Akhtar played a few big shots towards the end, obviously in lost cause as they were all out for 162 in 41.3 overs. Watson ended up with the Man of the match award for his 3/43 from 10 overs in addition to his direct hit to get rid of Pollock.

    Though the numbers pointed to the ICC World XI, the Australians showed character and won comfortably living up to the favourites tag.

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    Thus spake Ganesh @ 5:09 PM |
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