WC 2003 - Symonds helps Aussies break Pak shackles, pile 310 /8

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Andrew Symonds smashed a magnificent unbeaten 143 off 125 ball to lift reigning champion Australia to an imposing 310-8 from 50 overs in a controversial World Cup match on Tuesday.The 27-year-old Queenslander, whose selection for the tournament was questioned by the Australian media, revived his team after veteran Wasim Akram had left them struggling at 86-4 by the 16th over.But the key Group B match at the Wanderers between the finalists of the last World Cup was marred by controversy when Pakistan captain Waqar Younis was ordered out of the attack for bowling a vicious beamer at Symonds.The incident took place in the 49th over when Waqar bowled the beamer at Symonds, who was not hit but found himself sprawled on the field. A livid Symonds walked down the wicket to confront the bowler, who appeared to swear at the batsman, before umpire David Shepherd of England intervened and took Waqar off the attack. Spinner Shahid Afridi bowled the remaining three balls of the over.Australia took the field after champion leg spinner Shane Warne withdrew from the tournament after a failing a drug test conducted back home before the team left for Australia.Left-arm spinner Brad Hogg replaced Warne, only to see the top half of the batting wrecked by Wasim, who finished with three for 64. Wasim, One-day cricket's leading bowler, had Adam Gilchrist caught behind in his second over and then clean bowled Matthew Hayden and Damien Martyn off successive deliveries in his sixth.Jimmy Maher survived the hat-trick but was soon caught behind off Waqar for nine. Australian captain Ricky Ponting hit 53, but Symonds seized the initiative with superb stroke play all round the wicket which fetched him 18 boundaries and two sixes.The unstoppable Symonds added a rapid 70 for the sixth wicket with Hogg and 54 for the seventh with Ian Harvey to set Pakistan a huge target.

Copyright AFP 2001

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