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    April 14, 2007

    Ruthless Aussies through to Semis

    Glen McGrath courtesy of 50ISO100

    In the remodeled Kensington Oval in Barbados, the Aussie machine became the first to seal a semi final place with a ruthless demolition of the Irish team. Australian captain Ricky Ponting won the toss, but instead of opting for batting practice for his team, he sent Ireland in, and it was all over before lunch.

    The Irish had no answer for the pace and bounce of Shaun Tait nor for the accuracy and skill of Glenn McGrath. Both finished with 3 wickets a piece as Ireland were reduced to 2 for 3 and then 12 for 4. The wily veteran McGrath proved that he still has some fire in his bowling when he fell Andrew White with a rising delivery that hit the batsman in the helmet. McGrath now leads the World Cup with 18 wickets. Ireland were eventually dismissed for 91 in 30 overs, with some late order batting by John Mooney (23) making the score half decent.

    It was then a race to finish off the match before lunch as Mike Hussey, in need of time in the middle, and Adam Gilchrist opened the batting and took the fight to the Irish bowlers. Hussey was more subdued, while Gilchrist (34 off 25) demolished the bowling. When Aussie born Trent Johnston had Gilchrist bowled, he gave a celebratory jig that was the highlight for the Irish bowlers. Andrew Symonds then entered and picked up where Gilchrist left off. A massive six pulled into the new Greenidge and Haynes stand by Hussey finished off the match. The entire match lasted just 42.2 overs.

    Australia's final position will be determined by their final two matches: the biggies against Sri Lanka on Monday and New Zealand on Friday. Today South Africa plays New Zealand, another game with semi final implications. A win by New Zealand would seal their place, while a South African victory would go a long way to confirming South Africa's semi final place, and it would also officially eliminate the West Indies.

    (Cross posted from Rain, No Play)

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    Thus spake Sean @ 7:44 PM |
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