Aussies destruction continues

Australia continued to lead by example when demonstrating how to contend with the minnows. Following their battering of Scotland, they were equally dismissive when faced with the Netherlands at St. Kitts today.

Brad Hodge registered his maiden ODI century with an innings that was exceptionally well paced, and he was ably supported by Michael Clarke who made 93 not out, as they shared a World Cup record fourth wicket partnership of 204. Ricky Ponting’s side reached 358, with 138 runs coming in the last 10 overs.

The Netherlands were blown away by Australia’s attack and survived only 26.5 overs of their allotted 50, making 129, to lose by a massive 229 runs.

When Ponting won the toss he had no hesitation in deciding to bat in an attempt to inflict more misery on the Netherland’s attack following their battering off South Africa’s batsmen on Friday.

There was certainly no let up for the Dutch as Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden got after them with typical intent. When Hayden fell in the 12th over, going for a big shot over the off side with what could be described as a wild swing, the score had hurried on to 73.

The dangerous Gilchrist fell for 57, while Ponting seemed in ominous form for the minnows, and another destructive innings seemed inevitable. However, he was to offer Ten Doeschate a caught and bowled chance on 23, which he gratefully accepted with a smart catch taken low down to his right. Relief for Bas Zuiderent who had earlier dropped Ponting, as he was attempting to throw the ball in the air in celebration.

Perhaps in hindsight it was a bigger mistake by Ten Doeschate as Clarke and Hodge were then joined at the crease and inflicted merciless pain on the Dutch attack.

Both batsmen were circumspect early on, and a certain rebuilding process was in order. The Australian duo reached their fifties in the 40th over, Hodge taking 61 balls, Clarke 60. Then the fireworks began, as Hodge continuously targeted the area from square leg round to mid on, and delivered a barrage of punishing blows, to bring his century up off only 82 balls, the second 50 coming off a mere 21 deliveries.

The Victorian was finally cleaned up by Peter Borren for 123, and it was Clarke who then continued the blitz, smashing a few sixes of his own. The innings finally came to an end for the bowling side, with Holland facing the unenviable task of making 359.

Despite a useful opening stand of 36, coming at a decent rate, one got the feeling a collapse was only round the corner. Nathan Bracken started the demise with the wickets of Darron Reekers who made a bright and breezy 25 and Alexei Kervezee was trapped in front second ball.

Shaun Tait again displayed pace to trouble the best batsmen, and he picked up Holland’s talented all-rounder Ryan Ten Doeschate with a ball that appeared on him quicker than he had anticipated.

Despite some mid to lower order resistance, Brad Hogg wrapped things up for the Aussies with a 4.5 over spell that saw him collect four wickets for 27 runs. Daan Van Bunge top scored for the Netherlands with 33, bringing some light relief following his torment after bowling his famous over to the unforgiving Herschelle Gibbs in their last match.

So another display of professionalism from the current World Champions sets them up nicely for the final group game against South Africa, where one would expect them to be pushed somewhat harder.

The day was sadly overshadowed by the tragic death of highly respected Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, who was found unconscious on the floor in his hotel room in Jamaica. A knowledgeable and well thought of person, Bob Woolmer will be sadly missed by one and all.

Australia 358-5
Hodge 123, Clarke 93*, Gilchrist 57
de Leede 2-40, ten Doeschate 2-76

Holland 129
Van Bunge 33
Hogg 4-27

Australia won by 229 runs

Cricket Web Player of the Match
Brad Hodge (Australia) 123

Leave a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they have been approved

More articles by Paul Wood