Bangalore, March 16: Canada's hopes to end their World Cup campaign on a high were quashed by an ever-dominant Australia which romped home by 7 wickets with 91 balls to spare in their match at Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium (pictures). Chasing the Mapleleafs' modest 211 all out, Aussie openers Brad Haddin (88) and Shane Watson (94) effectively took the match well out of Canada's grasp with a 183-run stand before Michael Clarke and Cameron White finished off the match. Most of the Canadian bowlers struggled for impact except Harvir Baidwan who finished with figures of 1/41.
Earlier in the day, Canada's innings was given a blistering start by Hiral Patel who made a 45-ball 54 and some useful follow-up knocks from captain Ashish Bagai (39) and Zubin Surkari (34), but the Aussie seamers pegged back the minnows and bowled them out for 211 with Brett Lee taking 4/46.
Watson and Haddin gave the Aussie innings a solid start, aided in part by some sloppy Canadian fielding. In just the second over, Rizwan Cheema dropped a swirler off Haddin off Baidwan's bowling. Then the batsman found his groove, striking a quartet off fours in the next three overs - two each off Baidwan and his fellow paceman Henry Osinde.
Then Watson got into the act, hitting a few fours including one off legspinner Balaji Rao to take Australia past 50 in the 12th over. The batting duo settled into a routine of taking ones and twos till in the 20th over, Haddin clobbered Balaji Rao for a six before following up that maximum with two consecutive fours off Osinde, to take his side past 100.
Then Haddin came down heavily on seamer Rizwan Cheema in the 24th over, carting him for three boundaries as Australia moved onto 127 for no loss. Watson soon started dealing in sixes, striking two off Balaji Rao in the 26th over and then one off spinner John Davison in the next over to help Australia move past 150.
But Watson wasn't finished with the effecting this carnage. In the 28th over, he subjected Hiral Patel to an absolute flaying, taking 19 runs off him including one six and three fours off successive balls. Then in the next over, Haddin hit a four and a six before getting caught behind off Davison for 88 of 84 balls. Australia had lost their first wicket with 183 runs on the board and just 29 runs shy of victory.
Watson followed his opening partner back to the shed in the next over when he was caught off Baidwan in the deep for 94 off 90 balls. New batsman Clarke however, kept the momentum going in belligerent fashion, smashing Osinde for two fours in the 31st over.
But captain Ricky Ponting couldn't keep up his end and soon after Australia crossed 200, perished to Osinde for 7. Then Clarke and Cameron White completed the formality of taking Australia to victory in the 36th over.