Australia became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC Champions' Trophy yesterday when they crushed New Zealand here by seven wickets with 12.4 overs to spare. Glenn McGrath and Michael Kasprowicz set up Australia's victory by taking three wickets each at the start of the Black Caps innings. It was a position they never recovered from.
New Zealand were given hope when they dismissed Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting cheaply but a 100-run fourth-wicket partnership between Andrew Symonds and Damien Martyn took the world champions home. Symonds' thrilling unbeaten innings of 71 contained seven thunderous fours and four massive sixes.
Unpleasant and dangerous scenes followed the match when dozens of Australians and New Zealanders took it in turns to attempt to run on to the ground, cheered by the crowd. Most were tackled by the "green team" - stewards recruited from local rugby clubs - before they got close to the middle but the concept quickly became a game to the crowd.
It was amazing that nobody was seriously injured considering the heavy-handed nature of the stewards, who threw several spectators into and over the picket fence which surrounds the playing surface.