Gilchrist and Hogg star as Oz beat England

Published: Saturday, March 10, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Kingston:Adam Gilchrist's 72 was the centrepiece of Australia's successful run-chase during a five-wicket victory against England in the teams' final World Cup warm-up match here Friday.

Left-hander Gilchrist, back from paternity leave, put on 140 with fellow opener Shane Watson (55) as reigning world champions Australia, chasing 198 for victory, finished on 200 for five with more than nine overs to spare.

Victory meant Australia had ended a three-match losing streak against England in one-dayers.

"It was nice to spend some time in the middle and to get 20 overs in the field," said England skipper Michael Vaughan who has been plagued by a hamstring injury.

"I'm disappointed with our performance. Australia put the squeeze on. We should have got 250-260 but we were well beaten by a good side."

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said the match had been good practice for them.

"It was a good result," said Ponting. "We clawed things back, our slower bowlers took over and we did well in the field."

England had been well-placed at 122 for one at the half-way stage of their innings but then lost five wickets for 46 runs.

Left-arm wrist-spinner Brad Hogg started the slump by removing England captain Michael Vaughan (57) and Ian Bell (56), who'd shared 116 for the second wicket.

No other England batsman managed more than Paul Collingwood's 18, big-hitters Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff both failing as their side were bowled out for 197 with nine balls left.

Hogg, wicketless in his previous six limited overs matches, took two for 28 from his full 10 overs, a heartening haul ahead of a tournament where slow bowlers could play key roles.

Paceman Shaun Tait (four for 33) and Stuart Clark (three for 16) mopped up.

In reply, Watson hoisted new-ball bowler Jon Lewis for six, the seamer's first three overs costing 25 runs.

England opted to utilize the tournament rule allowing 13 players per side in warm-ups to have a look at all their bowlers but may not have been much the wiser about the make-up of their attack after this match.

Misfields didn't help and Australia had advanced to 73 without loss, after 13 overs, when Vaughan brought on spearhead quick Flintoff.

But the runs kept coming.

Gilchrist completed a 64-ball fifty with four fours and next ball struck paceman Liam Plunkett for a huge six over mid-wicket and onto the roof of the stand - a shot that brought up Australia's 100 in 115 balls.

Watson needed just 57 deliveries for a fifty including a six and six fours.

Australia were in sight of victory at 124 without loss when Monty Panesar, England's leading spinner, was introduced as the eighth bowler.

And the left-armer struck when Watson cut to Pietersen at backward point.

Five balls later 140 for one became 140 for two when Gilchrist's glance off Sajid Mahmood was well caught by diving keeper Paul Nixon.

But it was all too late for England.

After Vaughan won the toss, Irish-born left-hander Ed Joyce (five) was plumb lbw to a rapid inswinging yorker from fast bowler Tait.

But, from six for one, Vaughan and Bell fought back

Vaughan's hamstring injury, which meant he only played three matches during his side's victorious tri-series campaign in Australia, did not appear to trouble him when running between wickets.

However, although England coach Duncan Fletcher had said Vaughan would field for "20-30 overs", the skipper left the field after 17.

Earlier, Vaughan went to a 55-ball fifty with seven fours before Bell completed his in 72 balls with five boundaries.

The breakthrough Australia wanted came when Bell, lured down the pitch by Hogg's 'wrong-un', was stumped by Gilchrist to leave England 122 for two in the 26th over before Vaughan cut the former postman to Watson at point.

Australia begin the tournament proper against Scotland in St Kitts on Wednesday in a Group A also featuring South Africa and the Netherlands.

England face fellow Group C heavyweights New Zealand in St Lucia a week Friday before playing Canada and Kenya.


England Innings

Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Joyce), 2-122 (Bell), 3-131 (Vaughan), 4-131 (Pietersen), 5-167 (Flintoff), 6-168 (Collingwood), 7-182 (Nixon), 8-163 (Plunkett), 9-189 (Mahmood), 10-197 (Lewis)

Did not bat: J Anderson, M Panesar

Australia: Adam Gilchrist (wkt), Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Brad Hodge, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin, Brad Hogg, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Shaun Tait, Glenn McGrath

Toss: England

Umpires: Tony Hill (NZL), Norman Malcolm (WIS)

Australia Innings

Fall of wickets: 1-140 (Watson), 2-142 (Gilchrist), 3-156 (Ponting), 4-191 (Hodge), 5-193 (Hussey)

Did not bat: B Hogg, M Johnson, N Bracken, S Clark, S Tait, G McGrath

Result: Australia won by 5 wkts

Toss: England

Umpires: Tony Hill (NZL), Norman Malcolm (WIS)

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