Fifth Match

Australia v USA

At Southampton, September 13. Australia won by nine wickets. Australia 2 pts. Toss: Australia. One-day international debuts: D. L. Blake, Nasir Javed.

In a tournament mired in mismatches, this was the biggest. To guard against a washout in Australia's decisive group game against New Zealand, Ponting formed a plan: insert the Americans and dash home quickly enough to boost Australia's run-rate above that of New Zealand. The scheme was executed in two hours 44 minutes, the only uncertainty being the toss. Ponting won that and, on a sluggish pitch and an outfield greased by overnight rain, the USA scraped 65 - the lowest total in the Champions Trophy's brief history. After Lee's second delivery yorked Mark Johnson, most Americans struggled to lay bat on ball. In total, four were lbw, two bowled, and they managed only 26 runs in front of square as Kasprowicz and Gillespie pinched four cheap wickets each. Even the suggestively named Massiah, with a relatively perky 23, could not redeem the innings, in which Extras came next with 14. It then took Australia 7.5 overs, full of premeditated charges, to win - the third-shortest one-day international run-chase. Afterwards, Ponting broke with the usual protocol and questioned whether "this is the place for sides like the USA to play".

Man of the Match: M. S. Kasprowicz. Attendance: 500.

© John Wisden & Co
 
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