Australia’s sporting success in the UK overnight has been something of a mixed bag as the Australian cricket team managed to squeak home in its open hit-and-giggle Twenty20 game with a ball to spare, but the Socceroos could only beat New Zealand 1-0 at the death.
The Socceroos’ win over a third string opposition was hardly a walk in the park after it took until the 86th minute for Simon Colosimo to score the winner at Craven Cottage in London. It’s all very well for Australia to claim it’s depleted by injury, but the All-Whites were even more bereft of first team choices, and this labored effort will have done little to ease the pressure on coach Frank Farina’s World Cup qualification campaign hopes.
Australia’s cricketers gave an indication of the way it will be all-out attack this summer, after it beat a PCA Masters Invitation XI by eight wickets at Arundel Castle. The much trumpeted clash between Shane Warne and blazing one-day batsman Kevin Pietersen lasted all of five balls, but it was Michael Clarke who dispatched him for only six, before Clarke went on to take a hat trick.
While the 167-6 was a respectable target, you had to fancy Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden knocking off a good part of the total all by themselves – which they did with an opening stand of 131. Hayden bought up his 50 from just 32 balls, while Gilchrist’s took a more sedate 45.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
The third leg of a winning UK trifecta was provided by Lleyton Hewitt at the Queens tournament in London. He showed he’s on track in his comeback from injury after winning his third round match against Belarussian Max Mirnyi 6-3 1-6 6-1. He now meets Ivo Karlovic tonight.
While Mark Philippoussis didn’t get past the second round at Queens, it took world number four Andy Roddick to beat him 6-2, 6-4. While little notice can be taken of almost anything the Scud has to say about his form, Roddick did it for him by claiming Philippoussis will “make a lot of people uncomfortable” now he’s been given a wild card entry to Wimbledon. Given it was only two years ago the wayward Aussie was runner up at Wimbledon, Roddick’s caution isn’t to be so easily dismissed.