Cricket :Australia beat Canada in interesting clash

 Defending champions Australia defeated Canada by seven wickets with 15.1 overs remaining in their World Cup Group A match here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.

Already through to the quarter-finals, now Australia have extended their unbeaten run in the World Cup to 34 matches stretching back to 1999. They have also gone top of the group.

Chasing a modest total of 212, Australia achieved the winning target in 34.5 overs for the loss of only three wickets after openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin provided a 183-run opening stand.

Later, Ricky Ponting fell cheaply for only seven runs when Australia’s victory was just five runs away.

Michael Clarke and Cameron White remained not out on 16 and four, respectively.

Watson hammered 94 off 90 balls with four sixes and nine fours while his partner Haddin made 88 from 84 balls with eleven fours and two sixes.

Earlier, Aussie bowlers restricted Canada for 211 runs all out in 45.4 overs after the minnows’ top-order batsmen provided a brave fight.

The 19-year-old opener, Hiral Patel, faced Aussie pacers boldly, blasting a career-best 54 after Canada captain Ashish Bagai won the toss.

But Brett Lee took four for 46 as the North Americans were bowled out with 26 balls to spare.

Canada were well-placed at 150 for two but Australia then took five wickets for 19 runs.

Canada had promoted 40-year-old off-spinner John Davison, playing his last match before international retirement, to open the innings.

Davison looked good making 14 before fast bowler Lee out-thought him with a slow bouncer the batsman could only feather to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin as he attempted a hook.

The undaunted Patel took Canada to the fastest fifty of any team this tournament -- in 29 balls -- when he miscued a six off Mitchell Johnson high over third man.

But Patel, whose highest score in 13 previous one-day internationals was 43, made no mistake in hooking a Lee bouncer for six.

Patel completed his personal fifty in just 37 balls, including three sixes and five fours.

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