Scotland will return to their homeland pointless after their #Cricket World Cup experience, as they suffered a comprehensive seven-wicket loss to the tournament's co-hosts Australia earlier today. The Aussie bowlers were in a clinical mood as they blitzed through their opponents' flimsy batting line-up, dismissing them for just 130 runs, allowing their batsmen to win at a canter in a little over 15 overs. There had been a 90-minute rain delay that threatened the Aussies' progress, but after play resumed they were in no mood to repeat the drawn result against Bangladesh this time around. The victory confirms Australia in second place in Pool A, with only the unbeaten Kiwis above them, while the Scots claim the wooden spoon.
The hosts won the toss in Hobart at the Bellerive Oval and elected to field first, giving their bowlers first 'crack' on the pitch. It proved to be a wise decision as they made immediate inroads into the batting side's line-up, removing Kyle Coetzer for his second successive duck, after he had looked impressive in earlier games in the tournament (253 runs for this World Cup). Indeed 'ducks' proved to be a recurring theme during the Scots' innings, as there were five in total, including the beleaguered captain Preston Mommsen. Sussex's Matt Machan was the only player to cause the Aussie bowlers any real trouble, with his fine 40 off 35 deliveries before succumbing to Pat Cummins, as they limped to 130 all out off just 25.4 overs. It was only the 'wagging tail' that saw them over 100, as ninth-wicket duo of Josh Davey (26) and Michael Leask (23) added 35 runs. The Australian bowlers excelled once more, with Mitchell Starc (4-14) and Cummins (3-42) being the pick.
Aussie skipper Michael Clarke has been struggling with a troublesome hamstring injury, but was risked against the Scots and promoted up the order an attempt to get some time out in the middle. He will probably feel that he achieved that with his 47, including two sixes, as his side rushed to their victory off just 15.2 overs, despite a rain stoppage when they still required 39 runs to wrap up their success. After the break, David Warner and James Faulkner were in a hurry to finish things off, as they rattled off the remaining runs required in next to no time, finishing on 133-3. Warner showed his prowess at scoring quick runs, facing just six balls for his rapid 21 not out at the end, something that we may see more of before the tournament's conclusion.
The home side's next challenge will be a quarter-final in Adelaide on 20th March, where they will face either Pakistan or Ireland, who face each other tomorrow in their Pool B decider.