USA crushed by clinical Aussies

Tuesday, September 14 2004

Australia completed a resounding victory over minnows the United States, requiring less than eight overs to overhaul the USA's paltry total of 65 all out. A six over midwicket from Adam Gilchrist consummated a predictable thrashing after Michael Kasprowicz and Jason Gillespie destroyed the USA's batting lineup.

Ricky Ponting had little hesitation in putting the United States into bat upon winning the toss, making clear his intention of finishing off the game as quickly as possible. In the pre-match interview, Ponting questioned the benefits of such mismatches, and it was clear from Brett Lee's opening delivery that Australia was looking for an early finish. Alexander managed to keep out a vicious yorker, but Mark Johnson was not so lucky, bowled around the legs first ball. Romero was runout in the next over for 1, and at 2-2 the US' cause was already a hopeless one.

Glenn McGrath went wicketless in his spell, and Brett Lee couldn't add to his one wicket, prompting a change in bowling. Kasprowicz struck in his first over, ending Alexander's misery on 8. He struck again in his next over, removing captain Richard Staple LBW for 4, to leave the USA 38-4. Steve Massiah provided the bulk of the resistance, continuing his form after earlier plundering 142 not out against Bangladesh in a warm-up game. An enterprising 23 came to an end when he became Kasprowicz's third victim, lofting him to Lehmann in the deep.

After Kasprowicz had ravaged the top-order, Gillespie came in to mop up the tail in likewise clinical fashion. Zia, Ali, Blake and Johnson all perished for single-figures as Gillespie snared 15/4 and Kasprowicz 14/4. The United States were eventually all out in 24 overs for 65, the lowest total in Champions Trophy history. Massiah was the only player to register double-figures, with no. 11 Howard Johnson's 9 the second-highest score.

Australia had no intention of stalling in their bid for victory, and Hayden led the way with an adventurous 23 off 17 before becoming the USA's first and only victim. Gilchrist formalised proceedings by swatting Rashid Zia over midwicket for six to bring up a swift victory in just 7.5 overs of batting. Australia's run rate was sufficient to place them ahead of New Zealand on the table in the event of a washout; otherwise, the Australia-New Zealand clash looms as one of the most important matches of the tournament.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 65 all out in 24 overs
SJ Massiah 23 (42); MS Kasprowicz 14/4 (7), JN Gillespie 15/4 (6)

AUSTRALIA 66/1 in 7.5 overs
AC Gilchrist 24* (25); HR Johnson 26/1 (3)

Australia win by 9 wickets

Man of the Match: MS Kasprowicz

Posted by Adam