CAPE TOWN, Sept 14, 2007 (AFP) – Australia bounced back from the embarrassment of defeat against Zimbabwe to crush England by eight wickets in a World Twenty20 match at Newlands on Friday. Flintoff and Owais Shah both hit sixes off off-spinner Andrew Symonds in the space of three balls but both fell in quick succession to Johnson and Stuart Clark.
Needing a win to advance past the group stage Australia produced an emphatic performance, bowling out England for 135 and then racing to victory in 14.5 overs.
“We showed a lot of character,” said Australian captain Ricky Ponting. “We were excellent today. We bowled well, the fielding was sharp and we showed more intensity.”
Ponting laughed off pre-match comments by England’s Kevin Pietersen that England had a chance to humiliate Australia by knocking them out of the tournament.
“Comments don’t mean anything if you can’t back them up,” said Ponting. “They had the opportunity but if anything they’ve walked off humiliated.”
Left-arm pace bowlers Nathan Bracken and Mitch Johnson took three wickets each as Australia kept a tight clamp on the England batsmen.
Australian opening batsmen Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden, w