Before I begin let me reiterate that I don’t have cable television – hence I couldn’t watch the whole match. However, I listened to the Aussies bat thanks to BBC online radio, and kept in touch with score updates at home. At 11:25 last night I watched the 35min highlights on BBC One. So this report is how I saw/heard it.
Firstly, bloody well done to Australia. The commentary said that it’s only the second time in World Cup history that a team has won by more than 200 runs (unverified fact – don’t come looking for me if that’s wrong). And they did it in such style…There’s nothing like the one dayers to get the blood pumping! I love the World Cup!
The Aussie innings began with losing the toss, being sent into bat and a gutsy knock from Adam Gilchrist. This is the Gilly we know and love. Very ably partnered at the crease by Matthew Hayden, these two ‘old school’ gents proceeded to whack Scotland all over the ground. The ground was apparently slow, the fence was apparently short, but honestly does any of that really matter to an Aussie batsman in full stride? They’re gonna hit and go over the fence, whether it be short or long, fast or slow. And when Gilchrist fell for 46 off 55 balls, with 7 boundaries, Ricky Ponting stepped up to the plate and proceeded to pound the Scots even further into the dust.
I don’t think the Scotsmen really knew what bowling to Aussies is like, especially Ricky Ponting. Ponters saw the come and go of his 1000th World Cup run, and his fourth World Cup century. He joined a select list of prolific batsmen, and by the end of his 113 run knock he had moved to number 2 on that list. With 113 runs off 93 balls, 9 boundaries and five sixes – although his face didn’t show it, you could tell he was enjoying himself. Ponters was finally bowled out with a real winner from Scottish Captain Wright, he had to be happy with his innings.
The Scottish bowlers, though, didn’t have it all bad. The Aussies were out with 2 LBW and 2 straight bowl outs, as well as a stumping and a catch. Not bad bowling, when they shone – but they just didn’t seem to shine enough. Haq was their best guy – a spinner who left the field yesterday after getting the crucial wickets of Hayden and Clarke and stats of 2/49 off 7 overs. Blain had a bit of an episode. As BBC web and commentary reported: “Blain has done himself a mischief running in to bowl. He throws the ball away, has a chat with skipper Wright and then disappears into the stands. As Damien Fleming points out on commentary, that’s one of the shortest spells he’s ever seen – five steps.” Perhaps Ponters gave him the evil eye and he spooked? :) Blain ended up with stats of 0/29 off just 24 balls, so perhaps he was spooked by the Aussies. Hey, it’s happened before, right? :)
Australia finally saw out their 50 overs with a score of 6/334. Definitely a hard slog for the Scots.
I love watching the Australian’s field. They have so much energy, and seem to take absolute joy in the game. They throw themselves around and full-on launch into the ball, the boundary ropes, the grass… :) There was a distinct difference between the Scots on the field and the Aussies.
Anyway, Scotland got off to a poor start, and it just seemed to get worse from there. It was 5/42 before Brown and Smith stepped up and tried. Smith was Scotland’s top scorer with just 51 – and he was a good 30 runs above any of his team mates. Scotland just plain crumbled under the Aussie attack.
Glenn McGrath was again a stand out for the Aussies. Who says Pigeon has lost it?? Check out 3/14 off 6 overs, brothers, and rethink yourself. Then check out his World Cup Stats. The only reason he’s second is that Wasim Akram has played more matches. But thank god Glenn’s decided that the streaks in his hair are history. :)
Shaun Tait seems to be a worthy acolyte to McGrath – though he seemed to give up some accuracy for pace by throwing wide a few times. And with an Economy rate of 5.62 (to the rest of the Aussie bowlers are 2.something) he was expensive as well. His final stats were 2/45 off 8 overs. But if he was going to be expensive, this was the game to do it. Hopefully he’ll settle down over the course of the series…
A good game, and I think Scotland might have learned a few things – which will stand them well against South Africa.
My only problem with this game was that there were only an estimated 2000 people in the stands! It has got to be the smallest crowd that the Aussies have ever played for. And looking for a reason why, the commentators discoevered World Cup Ticket prices, which are just plain disgusting….
Australia v Scotland – USD$25 to sit on the grassy hill, USD$90 to sit in the stand. $90?? Is it really that much??
And the upcoming, more highly rated, Australia V South Africa? USD$80 to sit on grass, USD$130 to sit in stand.
No wonder the stands are empty – the locals can’t afford to go! Hell, I can’t afford to go!
Wake up ICC and reduce your prices – or you’ll have quite a few empty stands, I imagine.