Australia has defeated South Africa by 83 runs in their final league match
to top Group 'A' at St. Kitts here.
Chasing a mammoth total of 378 runs, South Africa was bowled
out for 294 in 48 overs.
Australia carry forward two points from this match in to the Super Eights
Earlier, Matthew Hayden blasted the fastest World
Cup hundred as Australia posted an imposing 377 for six - the highest ever
achieved by the defending champions and the third highest total in any World
He was adjudged the Man of the Match for his fine performance.
Earlier in the day, put in to bat, Hayden and Adam Gilchrist
gave a typically belligerent start to the Aussie innings on a track that was
a batsman's paradise.
South African speedster Shaun Pollock ended up with
figures of 83 runs from his 10 overs with no wicket.
Gilchrist was the first to go, caught by Herschelle Gibbs
off a Charl Langeveldt delivery for 42.
Hayden went on to score the fastest World Cup ton- off 66 deliveries
- before he gave a dolly of a catch to Gibbs off a Jacques Kallis delivery.
He made 101 from 68 balls and hit 14 boundaries and four sixes.
The Aussies were then 167 for two in the 24th over.
Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke continued to built on the skyscraper,
putting on 161 runs in the next 22 overs.
Ponting hit eight fours and two sixes en route to his 91 before
he holed out to AB de Villiers in the deep to give Makhaya Ntini
his first wicket.
Clarke followed him soon after - run out for 92 with seven
boundaries and four sixes. Michael Hussey fell for five and Andrew Symonds was
bowled for 18 on the last ball of the innings.
Spirited chase Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers started
the chase at a frenetic pace.
They put on 160 runs for the first wicket in 20 overs before
De Villiers was run out by Watson for 92. De Villiers's 70-ball knock inlcuded
14 fours and two sixes.
Smith suffered a round of cramps and was retired hurt for 72.
Herschelle Gibbs replaced him and tried consolidating the South African innings
with Jacques Kallis.
He, however, could only add 17 before being stumped off a Brad
Hogg delivery. In the next over, Glenn McGrath had new man Ashwell Prince caught
by Matthew Hayden for one.
Mark Boucher made 22 before he was bowled by Shaun Tait. The
pacer also dismissed Justin Kemp, lbw for one.
With the pressure mounting, Smith walked back in to the middle
but could add just two more runs to his tally before he top edged a Hodge delivery
into the palms of Gilchrist.
Kallis made 48 before he was caught by Clarke at the ropes
off Hogg. Pollock was bowled by Watson for seven and Bracken picked up the wickets
of Langeveldt (0) and Ntini (7).