Bangladesh 104-6 Australia 106-0 (Aus win by 10 wickets): Australia machine rolls on
Monday 02 April 2007
In 12 days of February, Australia lost five consecutive one-day matches. This can be seen now as no more than a juggernaut suffering a puncture. In 18 days of March they won five straight World Cup games and never looked like doing anything but.
During and after the losing streak, the Australians mentioned that while they were not in the business of being defeated, the matches against England, in the CB Series, and New Zealand, in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy coincided with a deliberately intensive training regime aimed at ensuring they reached a peak for the World Cup. How observers scoffed at such mumbo-jumbo. They are not scoffing now.
Having been kept waiting for five hours by some ineffective and ridiculous drying procedures, Australia brushed aside Bangladesh on Saturday. The match was reduced to 22 overs a side. Bangladesh made 104 for 6 after their panic-ridden start. Australia reached the target in 83 balls.
Adam Gilchrist struck a series of searing fours to begin, Matthew Hayden clubbed two sixes in four balls to conclude. Mouths opened in disbelief at the brutal, swashbuckling nature of it. It is possible that some team will beat the defending champions but it will need everything to go right for them, everything to go wrong for Australia and the planets to be aligned in a certain way.
Another vague possibility is a conspiracy by the ground staff to prevent them playing. The efforts to start after torrential overnight rain were hopeless. The drying equipment, amounting to little more than two small rollers and two pieces of foam, was risibly inadequate.
As the players and fans waited, ground staff went to have lunch, lending more credence to the long held theory that groundsmen, having lovingly tended their pitches, would prefer that they were not played on.
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians