CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA // Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting hit unbeaten centuries as Australia overwhelmed England to reach the ICC Champions Trophy final at SuperSport Park on Friday. Australia won by nine-wickets after England had earlier done well to recover to 257 all out after slumping to 101 for six wickets. But on a good batting wicket that never looked likely to be enough, especially with Ponting in sublime form and Watson in aggressive mood.
Tim Paine was the only Australian wicket to fall, caught by Steve Davies off the bowling of Graham Onions for four, but after that it was all Australia. Watson hit 136 not out, including seven sixes off 132 balls, while the Australia captain Ponting finished with 111 not out off 115 as the two batsmen shared an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 252 from 40.2 overs. Watson also hit 10 fours, while Ponting's boundary tally was 12 fours and a six.
On Monday Australia, who won the Champions Trophy in 2006, will play the winner of the other semifinal between Pakistan and New Zealand in Johannesburg that is played today. *AP