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Watson and Lee fire Aussies to another out of this world win
by AFP


Ground:Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
Scorecard:Australia v ICC World XI
Player:B Lee, SR Watson
Event:Johnnie Walker Super Series 2005/06

DateLine: 9th October 2005

 

Brett Lee and Shane Watson decimated the World XI's elite batting line-up to power Australia to a 156-run victory and a Super Series one-day clean sweep at Docklands stadium here on Sunday.

 

Lee claimed 4-30 off nine overs and Watson 4-39 from 7.5 overs as the World XI capitulated for just 137 off 27.5 overs in their worst batting performance of the three-match series.

 

Australia, with their ears burning in condemnation after losing the Ashes to England, hit back confirming their unchallenged status as the world's best ODI team.

 

"We've played great cricket. It's been an even contribution across the board, we've batted extremely well and now we've gone out and bowled extremely well ... our cricket has been first-class," skipper Ricky Ponting said.

 

"I'm sure they wanted to come here and beat us on our home turf, but that hasn't been the case and they've got one more chance to do that in the Test match next week."

 

World captain Shaun Pollock feared Sunday's performance eventuating after his team was outplayed in the first two one-dayers.

 

"It was a disappointing effort today. I think there's always a danger when you're 2-0 down in a three-match that it can turn out like this and as much as we talked about it, it didn't have much of an impact," Pollock said.

 

The Australians, fuelled by their 293 for five off 50 overs with Michael Hussey, Ponting and Shane Watson all notching half-centuries, had the match well in their grasp inside 18 overs, reducing the World XI to 99 for six.

 

Lee put the skids under the World XI with three wickets in his first four overs to have them tottering at 27 for 4 in the seventh over, while Watson finished with man-of-the-match honours with four wickets and an unbeaten 66.

 

"That's my goal is to get to somewhere near the player that Andrew Flintoff is," Watson said. "I would love to be able to make the contribution that he continually does for England with the bat and ball and hopefully I can be the answer to what Australian cricket is looking for."

 

Lee sent Chris Gayle's off-stump crashing with the second ball of the innings before Glenn McGrath induced Kumar Sangakkara to sky a catch to Damien Martyn at mid-off for 13 in the fourth over.

 

Lee was on a hat-trick after Jacques Kallis lobbed a catch to Hussey at square-leg for two and he then sent Brian Lara on his way next ball, finding an edge to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist for a duck.

 

In three innings in the Super Series, Lara's scores were 0, 5, 0.

 

Flintoff, cleared by X-rays of a fractured wrist after attempting a difficult chance from Ponting during the Australian innings, saw off the hat-trick.

 

England's Ashes hero batted for 21 off 25 balls with four fours before he was bowled by Watson, leaving the World XI 87 for five in the 14th over.

 

Watson brought off a brilliant run out of Virender Sehwag (37) off his own bowling, swooping on his follow-through and diving full length to throw down the stumps with Sehwag well out of his ground. The world team were sinking at 99 for six.

 

Lee struck again in his eighth over with Rahul Dravid holing out to Martyn at mid-off for 16 off 38 balls.

 

Daniel Vettori went for a five-ball duck, skipper Shaun Pollock was out to Watson for eight and Shahid Afridi went down swinging for 16, giving Watson his fourth wicket.

 

Hussey and Watson earlier combined in an unfinished 145-run sixth-wicket partnership off 135 balls to take the match away from the world.

 

Hussey looked impressive with a poised 75 off 74 balls, including five fours and a six, while Watson hit a run a ball.

 

Hussey had a six-bound hit off Makhaya Ntini declared a dead ball when it hit the stadium's enclosed roof.

 

Ponting, who won his third straight toss of the series, looked to be in control when he was caught by Lara at mid-wicket off Muralitharan for 68.

 

Gilchrist, who scored a memorable 79-ball 103 on Friday, blazed away for 32 off 31 balls with two fours and a six before he top-edged Pollock.

 

Martyn survived two referrals to the third umpire on four and 32 before he became the first player given out by the video umpire in the tournament, lbw to Vettori for 33 off 44 balls.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)

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