Mark Waugh and Shane Warne gave Zimbabwe a lesson in top-flight cricket as Australia improved their World Cup run-rate with a rapid eight-wicket victory in yesterday's Group A match in Nagpur. The result lifted Australia alongside the group leaders, Sri Lanka, on six points with one game to play, against the West Indies in Jaipur on Monday.
Waugh, the first man to score successive Cup centuries, finished unbeaten on 76 and would have almost certainly made it three hundreds in a row had Australia been chasing more than 155.
Zimbawe's decision to bat first probably saved them from even more punishment, but few of their batsmen justified the confidence of their captain, Andy Flower. Only the opener Andy Waller, who held the Zimbabwe innings together until the 36th over with a sensible 67, offered prolonged resistance.
No batsmen was comfortable against Warne who achieved prodigious turn at times and finished with 4 for 34. The leg-spinner removed Andy Flower in classic fashion when he failed to pick a beautifully flighted googly and was smartly stumped by Ian Healy for seven.
Viv Richards and Ramiz Raja remain the only men to have scored three World Cup hundreds, but Waugh's form suggests he may yet join them.
(Zimbabwe won toss)
A C Waller run out 67
G W Flower b McGrath 4
G J Whittall c and b S R Waugh 6
A D R Campbell c M E Waugh
b S R Waugh 5
*A Flower st Healy b Warne 7
C N Evans c Healy b Warne 18
H H Streak c S R Waugh b Fleming 13
P A Strang not out 16
B C Strang b Fleming 0
S G Peall c Healy b Warne 0
A P C Lock b Warne 5
Extras (lb8, w3, nb2) 13
Total (45.3 overs) 154
Fall: 1-21, 2-41, 3-55, 4-68, 5-106, 6-126, 7-140, 8-140, 9-145.
Bowling: McGrath 8-2-12-1; Fleming 9-1-30-2; Lee 4-0-8-0; S R Waugh 7- 2-22-2; Warne 9.3-1-34-4; M E Waugh 5-0-30-0; Law 3-0-10-0.
*M A Taylor c B C Strang b P A Strang 34
M E Waugh not out 76
R T Ponting c and b P A Strang 33
S R Waugh not out 5
Extras (b6, lb2, w1, nb1) 10
Total (for 2, 36 overs) 158
Fall: 1-92, 2-150.
Did not bat: S G Law, M G Bevan, I A Healy, S Lee, S K Warne, D W Fleming, G D McGrath.
Bowling: Streak 10-3-29-0; Lock 4-0-25-0; B C Strang 3-0-20-0; Whittall 2-0-11-0; P A Strang 10-2-33-2; Peall 4-0-20-0; G W Flower 3-0-12-0.
Umpires: S G Dunne (NZ) and D R Shepherd (Eng).