WHILE ENGLAND were losing to India at Edgbaston, the Australians were guaranteeing their passage into the Super Sixes with a low-scoring, six-wicket triumph over the West Indies at Old Trafford, but their victory was shrouded in controversy.
Australia edged ahead of the West Indies into No 2 spot in Group B, based on run-rates, but slowed down on the way to scoring the 110 needed for victory. Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan had steadied the Australians after they lost four wickets but, with victory in sight, the two all but stopped scoring to the obvious anger of the crowd.
Under the competition rules, it actually benefits the Australians if the West Indies rather than New Zealand qualify for the next round.
Teams that make it to the Super Six take with them the points they gained against their fellow qualifiers and for Australia that means either two (for beating West Indies) or none (after losing to New Zealand). Pakistan have already beaten all three and qualified. The Australian crawl actually improved the West Indies run-rate, and New Zealand must today bowl Scotland out for around 100 in Edinburgh and then reach that target at five an over or hit a big score, 250 or so, and win by more than 100 to go through.
Richard Williams, page 4
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