Ton-up Hodge and Clarke lift Aussies to 358-5

Published: Monday, March 19, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Basseterre, St Kitts:Brad Hodge hit his maiden one-day hundred and Michael Clarke scored an unbeaten 93 to lift Australia to 358-5 against the Netherlands in their World Cup Group A match here on Sunday.

Hodge (123) and Clarke put on 204 for the fourth wicket to propel the innings after their team had won the toss on a good batting track at Warner Park.

Hodge was finally dismissed in the 48th over, bowled by Peter Borren.

He hit eight boundaries and seven sixes during his enterprising 89-ball knock.

His previous best one-day score was 99 which came against New Zealand at Melbourne during the tri-series last month.

Clarke missed his hundred by seven runs, hitting six boundaries and three towering sixes during his 85-ball knock.

The pair benefitted from as many as five dropped catches to spoil some good early work by the Netherlands' bowlers.

Australia looked to be in a bit of bother for a brief spell when they lost opener Matthew Hayden (29), Adam Gilchrist (57) and skipper Ricky Ponting (23) to be at 116-3 in the 21st over.

The Dutch attack bowled to a better line and length than they did against South Africa who piled up 353-3 in 40 overs on Friday in a match which saw Herschelle Gibbs smash six sixes in an over.

But their fielding left a lot to be desired as they dropped two chances off Hodge and two off Clarke, to allow the pair to score 130 runs in the final ten overs.

Earlier, Gilchrist and Hayden had put on 73 by the 12th over when paceman Tim de Leede had both caught in the outfield. De Leede was the pick of the Dutch bowlers with 2-40.

Ponting, who hit a brilliant 113 in his team's 202-run win against Scotland in Australia's first match, was let off at 23 but the Australian skipper failed to make the most of his lifeline and was smartly snapped up by Ryan ten Doeschate off his own bowling.

South Africa and Scotland are the two other teams in the group. The top two teams qualify for the second round Super Eights.



Fall of wickets: 1-73 (Hayden); 2-116 (Gilchrist); 3-116 (Ponting); 4-320 (Hodge); 5-325 (Hussey)

Overs: 50

Netherlands: L. van Troost, D. van Bunge, R. ten Doeschate, A. Kervezee, T. de Leede, P. Borren, A. Raja, M. Jonkman, D. Reekers, J. Smits, B. Zuiderent

Toss: Australia

Umpires: Steve Bucknor (WIS) and Tony Hill (NZL)

TV replays: Asoka de Silva (SRI)

Reserve umpire: Mark Benson (ENG)

Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)


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