Australia 66 for 1 (Gilchrist 24*) beat USA 65 (Gillespie 4-15, Kasprowicz 4-14) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Ricky Ponting's pre-match comments gave us a clue as to Australia's intent in this match. It is rare for an international captain to be anything other than placatory when sizing up an opposition of lesser ability, but not on this occasion. Instead, Ponting sounded utterly unenthused at the prospect of a wasted day in the field, and warned that the USA might not learn a great deal from today's match. He's probably right as well - they didn't hang around long enough to pick up any tidbits, as the entire match was done and dusted in just 31.5 overs.
After winning the toss, Ponting made light of the perils of batting last on the same pitch that was used for India's match against Kenya on Saturday, and chose to bowl in an attempt to brush the match aside as quickly as possible. Australia made the perfect start as well. Brett Lee, steaming in with the intent of a man who had not been an original choice today, struck with his second delivery of the match, as USA were introduced to the rigours of cricket at the very highest level
In fact, Lee might have struck even earlier than that. Facing up to his first ball, Rohan Alexander dug out a screaming yorker that had set its sights on his big toe. But Lee's second delivery was too good for the left-handed Mark Johnson, who stepped across his stumps and was bowled round his legs by a rapid inswinger (1 for 1).
Leon Romero should have made it two in two when he flinched at an off-stump lifter, but Michael Clarke couldn't cling on to a one-handed diving chance at third slip, after sighting the ball late. But Australia soon had their man. In Glenn McGrath's first over, Romero set off for a quick single, took a detour around McGrath's gangling frame, and was run out by six inches by Damien Martyn's direct hit from gully (2 for 2).
That prompted a change of bowling, with Mike Kasprowicz entering the fray, and he too struck in his very first over. Alexander had been playing late and cagily ever since his early scare, dropping the ball into the gully region at every opportunity, but Kasprowicz's second delivery took a thin edge through to Adam Gilchrist, and USA had slumped to 32 for 3. Two overs later, Kasprowicz struck again. Richard Staple, the captain, had just got off the mark with a streaky shoulder-of-the-bat four through third man, when he was pinned plumb in front by a fuller, faster delivery (38 for 4).
With little support forthcoming from the opposite end, and Clayton Lambert watching from the sidelines after injuring himself in the New Zealand match, Massiah decided to take matters into his own hands. But he chose to take on the wrong bowler. An attempted smear off Kasprowicz was launched high into the off side, where Darren Lehmann positioned himself well beneath a steepling chance (46 for 5). And that was the end of the resistance. Kasprowicz immediately found himself on a hat-trick, as Tony Reid shuffled across his stumps, and though Kasprowicz overstepped for the crucial delivery, there was a fourth bowler awaiting his piece of the action.
Jason Gillespie had been waiting in the wings, but now he devastated the tail in six venomous overs. The No. 11, Howard Johnson, provided some resistance (9 from 15 balls), but a total of 65 wasn't exactly threatening - although Australia needed to complete their chase inside 11.5 overs to ensure that their run-rate was superior to New Zealand's.
Matthew Hayden certainly didn't think much of USA's efforts. His brief innings was erratic to say the least - full of premeditated charges and feints that bordered on the insulting. So it was with some glee that Howard Johnson found Hayden's outside edge with a booming outswinger, to ensure it would not be an entirely fruitless day for USA.
One over later, and it might have been even better for USA, but Tony Reid couldn't cling onto a firm return chance. It was the only sniff that Gilchrist gave, and he wrapped up the match with a vast six over midwicket, to complete the match in 7.5 overs - the third-fastest run-chase in ODI history.
Howard JohnsonMatthew HaydenBrett LeeJason GillespieRicky PontingMichael KasprowiczUnited States of AmericaAustraliaUnited States of America tour of BermudaBermuda tour of CanadaCanada tour of United Arab EmiratesCanada tour of United States of AmericaIreland tour of NetherlandsScotland tour of IrelandNamibia tour of KenyaScotland tour of United Arab EmiratesKenya tour of United Arab EmiratesUganda tour of KenyaMalaysia tour of NepalUnited Arab Emirates tour of MalaysiaUganda tour of NamibiaNepal tour of United Arab EmiratesNetherlands tour of ScotlandICC Intercontinental Cup