Australia enter quarters with 60-win over Kenya
Bangalore: Inspired by Michael Clarke`s 80-ball 93, Australia produced a splendid batting display to notch up an emphatic 60-run victory over Kenya in their Group A match and ease into the quarterfinals of the cricket World Cup here on Sunday.
Clarke and fit-again Michael Hussey (54) forged a fifth-wicket partnership of 114 runs to help Australia post a challenging 324-6 after losing three wickets for just 16 runs to be 143-4 at one stage.
Collins Obuya (98 not out) and Tanmay Mishra (72) starred in Kenya`s runchase but they never looked to be in the hunt and were restricted to 264-6 as Australia stretched their unbeaten run at the World Cup to 33 matches.
Australia is now placed third in the group A table, which is headed by New Zealand after their win against Canada in Mumbai today. Sri Lanka is at the second spot with seven points from five matches.
Australia will now take on Canada and Pakistan in their last two league matches. Chasing 325 to win, Kenya were reduced to 46 for three but Collins and Mishra shared a 155-ball 115-run partnership to lift Kenya to 161 for four.
Collins added another 86 runs off 72 balls with Thomas Odoyo (35) but in the end it proved too tall a mountain to climb for the Kenyans at the Chinnaswamy stadium here.
Fast bowlers Brett Lee and Shaun Tait dealt the initial blows, removing openers Maurice Ouma (4) and Alex Obanda (14) to reduce Kenya to 21-2 in four overs. A terrible mix up between Obuyo brothers cost David his wicket as the minnows slumped to 46-3 in 9.4 overs but Collins and Mishra ensured there were no more hiccups and brought up the hundred in 20.6 overs.
The 24-year-old India-born Mishra blasted eight fours and a six en route to his second World Cup fifty before falling to a brilliant run out by Clarke in the 36th over.
Collins and Thomas Odoyo then took Kenya across the 200-mark with a 86-run partnership after taking their batting powerplay between the 42nd to 46th over, were they scored 49 runs without losing a wicket.
Tait claimed the last wicket of the day, cleaning up Thomas in the 48th over, while Collins remained unbeaten with a career-best score of 98 in the end. His 129-ball innings was laced with nine fours and three sixes.
Tait was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Lee accounted for one wicket. Earlier, electing to bat after winning the toss, the Australians played it steady with Clarke making a 80-ball 93 while Brad Haddin (65) and the fit-again Mike Hussey (54) striking fifties.
For Kenya, Nehemiah Odhiambo and skipper Jimmy Kamande were the pick of the bowlers sharing five of the six Australian wickets that fell. While Odhiambo managed 3/57 in his 10 overs, Kamande scalped two. It was a slow start to the proceedings at the Chinniswamy Stadium with the Aussies losing their first wicket pretty early when opener Shane Watson (21) nicked one to wicketkeeper Maurice Ouma while attempting a cut off Nehemia Odhiambo.
Watson struck three boundaries and a six in his 17-ball cameo. In came skipper Ricky Ponting and steadily put on 89 runs for the third wicket with Haddin. But Kamande managed to break the steady partnership when he had Haddin caught by Rakep Patel at deep midwicket.
Haddin, who perished in his attempt to go over the ropes, took 79 balls for his knock that was studded with nine fours and a six.
Four runs and exactly an over later, it was Ponting`s turn to head back to the pavillion when the Aussie captain was adjudged leg-before to Collins Obuya after a successful review by Kenya.
Ponting, who contributed an uncharacteristically slow 54-ball 36, was attempting to work the ball on the leg side when he got hit on the pad.
Umpire Richard Kettleborough ruled him not out but Kenya asked for a review and in replays it showed that the ball was hitting middle and leg stump.
Cameron White`s (2) poor run continued and he faced just one over before Kamande rattled his middle stump with his off-spin.
But Clarke and Hussey ensured that the Aussies didn`t feel any other hiccups for a considerable period and built a 114-run partnership for the fifth wicket before the latter was caught by David Obuya while attempting to strike Odhiambo over long on.
Hussey`s 43-ball knock comprised four boundaries. Clarke looked well set for his maiden World Cup and sixth ODI hundred but fell short by seven runs when he holed out to Rakep Patel at long on off Odhiambo.