Aussies into Champions Trophy final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies into Champions Trophy final

By Greg Buckle 02/11/2006 05:51:46 AM Comments (0)

Glenn McGrath has bowled Australia into its first Champions Trophy final with another brilliant performance in Wednesday night's semi-final against New Zealand.

Australia was sent into bat on a lively Mohali pitch and scored 9-240, led by skipper Ricky Ponting (58) and all-rounder Andrew Symonds (58).

New Zealand scrapped hard despite a woeful start to make 206 in 46 overs in reply.

McGrath probed away menacingly outside off-stump to take 3-22 as New Zealand collapsed, losing its first six wickets for 35 runs in 14.2 overs.

All-rounder Jacob Oram and spinner Daniel Vettori (79) added 103 for the seventh wicket, a record for New Zealand against Australia, before Symonds had Oram stumped for 43.

Shane Watson took his 50th wicket in his 51st match when he had James Franklin caught behind for nine at 8-159.

Mitchell Johnson finally ended Vettori's 103-ball innings when the No.8 batsman backed away in the 43rd over and the ball bounced off his pads onto the stumps.

With the cause almost lost at 9-180, tailender Kyle Mills hit out bravely to score 21 off 17 balls before he became Lee's second victim (2-31).

McGrath struck first for Australia in the sixth over when Lou Vincent (1) was caught at second slip by Ponting, while Brett Lee produced a superb off-cutter in the next over to bowl Nathan Astle for a duck.

Hamish Marshall (5) was McGrath's second victim before left-armer Nathan Bracken (2-36) was brought on for the 11th over and claimed Kiwi skipper Stephen Fleming with his fourth ball, caught by Ponting at second slip for 15.

McGrath completely deceived Peter Fulton (2) who shouldered arms and was bowled at 5-34 and one run later wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum (1) fell to Bracken's bowling.

Earlier, New Zealand seamer Mills ran through Australia's top order with the excellent figures of 4-38.

The tall right-arm paceman had given the Black Caps a massive boost by removing openers Watson (0) and Adam Gilchrist (3) in the third over with only four runs on the board.

But half-century partnerships between Ponting and Damien Martyn (26), Ponting and Mike Hussey (35) and Hussey and Symonds pushed Australia safely towards a 200-plus total on a difficult batting track.

Symonds was starting to look dangerous and the Queenslander's 20th half-century came in 46 balls. It included three fours and an explosive straight drive for six from the bowling of spinner Daniel Vettori.

But the big right-hander was bowled by a full toss from speedster Shane Bond, who was wayward in his opening spell and finished with 2-55.

Returning for his final two-over spell, Mills had Michael Clarke caught at third man for 14. Mills had earlier claimed the key wicket of Ponting, caught at mid-on.

The final is in Mumbai on Sunday. Australia will meet the winner of Thursday's semi-final between South Africa and West Indies in Jaipur.

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