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Australia 'paces' past another team...


Having watched Sri Lanka clean up the West Indies and Australia smack India about, no doubt a few cricket fans licked their lips at the prospect of Australia and Sri Lanka taking on each other. And the match didn't disappoint those cricket fans. I imagine Australian fans bit off their fingernails and Sri Lankan fans inflated and deflated in rapid succession, but general cricket fans wouldn't have been disappointed.
Australia won the toss and, since it has worked so well for them thus far, they chose to bat. The Sri Lankan bowlers came on quickly; Angelo Matthews and Murali's replacement, Randiv, made short work of the Aussie top order. Watson went quickly and, in a slight change, Haddin came to the crease at number 3. Warner managed to stick around marginally longer than either Haddin or Watson, but he looked uncomfortable the whole time and eventually went for 9 runs. Dave Hussey, who could very well have been the Aussies saviour, walked on and off again with barely a change in his step.
By the time Clarke, who seems to bounce up and down the order like a yoyo these days, was gone the Australians were looking dire on 67 – 5. But one thing you can never accuse them of is lacking depth. When the top order fails, the middle order is very capable of stepping up to the plate. The lower order ain't too shabby either, come to that, but fortunately they were not needed.
Cameron White started a little slow, but once he was settled he was unstoppable. With the support of Mike Hussey, the Aussies made it 168 without losing another wicket. It was a total that few people had foreseen, but there it was. And now it was up to Australia's bowlers to defend it.
They defended it with style. Once again, Nannes struck early preventing Jayawardene from getting too cosy, and his team mates followed suit. Perhaps it's true that the Aussies cannot deal with spin, but so far no one has been able to deal with the Aussie pace men. The Sri Lankans, in truth, were blown away by them. They were bowled out for 87 in 16.2 overs and the Aussies never looked back.
Australia is not yet through to the semi-finals, but it has to be almost done. They are still to face the West Indies, who have proved little competition for them of late. Like the Pakistanis, the West Indians spent a summer of hell down under and there is little doubt the Aussies plan to continue that streak.
And when it is over, it's off to the semis where I imagine I will get my wish of seeing Australia take on the old enemy, England.
(As the youngest of five children, and with three older brothers, Kirby grew up in a house full of people who love Australian cricket, Geelong football club and rich tea biscuits. She was doomed from birth to wear the green and gold. As an adult she moved to the UK in an attempt to save England cricket fans from themselves, but in return they stole the Ashes. Twice. She firmly believes that Steve Waugh should be knighted, Graeme Swann should be castrated and Nathan Hauritz should be her pet. She blogs over at thoughtsfromthedustbin.blogspot.com)

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