Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Australia Defends Champions Torphy

Australia defended the ICC Champions Trophy after Shane Watson’s unbeaten century guided the defending champions to a six-wicket victory over a depleted New Zealand in the low-scoring final at Centurion (South Africa) on 5 October, 2009.

Watson hit an unbeaten 129-ball 105 and starred in a 128-run stand with Cameron White (62) under tremendous pressure as Australia, chasing 201 against New Zealand’s never-say-die pacers, overcame a wobbly start to reach 206 for four in 45.2 overs.

Earlier, a dominant Australia boosted their title defence by restricting New Zealand, looking rudderless without their injured skipper Daniel Vettori, for a meagre 200 runs for nine wickets. Vettori’s last minute pullout with a hamstring injury was just the start of New Zealand’s woes and they never got going after opting to bat first.

New Zealand had just two decent partnerships in their innings but Martin Guptill (40) and Aaron Redmond (26) took 15.1 overs to raise 61 runs for the second wicket, while Neil Broom (37) and James Franklin (33) added 65 in 14.1 overs, underlining their struggle in the middle. For Australia, Nathan Hauritz claimed three for 37.

As if losing Jacob Oram, Daryl Tuffey and Jesse Ryder at different stages of the champioship was not bad enough, the Kiwis walked out in the middle without their inspirational captain and man-in-form Vettori and it proved to be a mighty blow for the Kiwis.

Grant Elliott played a sensible innings of 75, to guide New Zeland to another Champions Trophy final, as they beat Pakistan in the second semifinal at Johannesburg on 3 October. Pakistan, who were the favourites before today’s game, were thoroughly outplayed as the Kiwis made the most of the batting power play and romped home with still 2.1 overs to spare.

Earlier on 2 October, Australia proved that their recent 6-1 thrashing of England was neither an aberration nor entirely irrelevant, as Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson produced their country's highest partnership in limited-overs cricket, a majestic alliance of 252 in 242 balls, to power their side into final at Centurion.

Chasing a target of 258 that was swelled only by an improbable career-best from Tim Bresnan at No. 8, Australia sauntered to a nine-wicket victory against their favourite ODI opponents with a massive 49 balls to spare. Ponting scored his 28th one-day century, and his 12,000th run in the format, during his unbeaten 111 from 115 balls innings, while Watson provided the gloss finish with 136 not out from 132 balls, his third and highest hundred in 89 games.

No comments: