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ICC World Cup: Australia register comfortable win to finish 2nd in Pool A

Hobart: Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc stood out with excellent figures of 4/14 as Australia registered an easy seven-wicket win over Scotland to finish second in Pool A going into the quarterfinals of the cricket World Cup here on Saturday.

After skipper Michael Clarke opted to bowl in their last round robin league match, Australia packed off Scotland for 130 in 25.4 overs and then chased down the target with 208 balls to spare at the Bellerive Oval.

Clarke, opening the innings in place of David Warner who was pushed down the order, made 47 in as many balls with the help of seven boundaries and two sixes and put on 58 runs for the second wicket with Shane Watson (24) to help the four-time winners inch closer to victory.

With a last eight berth already assured before Saturday's match, the Australian captain wanted himself and Watson to spend some time in the middle before the quarterfinals kick off.

Aaron Finch raced his way to 20 off 10 balls with the help of three boundaries and a six, but he could not carry on as he was dismissed by Rob Taylor. Watson found the fence four times.

After Clarke fell three short of a half-century, James Faulkner (16) and Warner (21) guided the team home with ease following another rain interruption.

Taylor, Iain Wardlaw and Josh Davey were the wicket-takers for Scotland.

Australia finished second in the group behind co-hosts New Zealand and followed by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. They play against the third place team in Pool B.

Earlier, Starc and Pat Cummins shared seven wickets between themselves to help skittle out a hapless Scotland for a paltry total.

Backing Clarke's decision to bowl first, pace spearhead Starc struck early to send back Scotland openers Kyle Kotzer (0) and Craig McLeod (22).

Sharing the new ball with Starc, Cummins (3/42) and Watson (1/18) also combined well to rattle the Scotland batting line-up.

Watson got opposition skipper Preston Mommsen for a duck while Cummins also got Freddie Coleman for nought.

The slide continued as off-spinner Glenn Maxwell (1/24) joined the party, even as number three batsman Matt Machan scored a resilient 40.

Machan struck six boundaries during his 35-ball knock, while Davey and Michael Leask made 26 and 23 respectively to help the side cross 100.

Harvey and Leask stitched together a 35-run ninth wicket partnership to stage a brief fightback of sorts before rain stopped play after the 25th over.

After the brief rain interruption, the brutal Australian bowlers got the remaining two wickets quickly, in the space of four balls.
 

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