Nagpur, Feb 25: The men from Down Under pulled out all the stops to thunder home by 7 wickets against New Zealand in the 8th match of the World Cup 2011, at Nagpur. The Aussies gave the Kiwis no quarter easily overhauling the latter's score of 206 in 34 overs. Openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin gave their side a robust 133-run stand before departing in quick succession. Though captain Ricky Ponting followed them back to the shed for 12, his deputy Michael Clarke and Cameron White warded off fears of a collapse and settled in well to eventually take Australia to victory.
Australia's innings kicked off swiftly as Shane Watson struck Tim Southee for a boundary off the first over. Then Brad Haddin got into the act, smashing fours in the 3rd, 4th and 5th overs as Australia climbed to 34/0. The battting duo teamed up to take 19 runs off the 8th over including two fours (and 5 wides from Kiwi fast bowler Hamish Bennett) as Australia crossed 50.
Then Haddin reasserted his dominance by carting Southee for two more boundaries in the 9th over. When Nathan McCullum came onto bowl his off-spinenrs, Watson took him for a four and then a boundary and six off separate overs. The Kiwis bowlers were clearly toiling to get a breakthrough as Australia raced to 100/0 in just 14 overs. Even Vettori didn't have much luck, getting clobbered for three fours by Watson in the 16th over.
Nothing was going New Zealand's way as Williamson dropped Watson in the deep off Vettori in the 18th over with the score at 132/0. But just when things were looking downright hopeless for the Kiwis, Bennett made a double strike in the 19th over. He first removed Haddin for 55 off 50 balls when he had him caught at midwicket, before bowling Watson for 62 off 61 balls. However, at the end of the 19th over, Australia were 139/2 and still in a stong position.
New batsman Ricky Ponting slapped a four off Vettori to take his side past 150 in the 22nd over. But after a few quiet overs, Southee had Ponting stumped for 12 off 28 as Australia slipped to 167/3 in 26.4 overs. However, Michael Clarke stood firm and together withv Cameron White took the Aussies home with 7 wickets and overs to spare.