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Brilliant Australia through to Champions final

  • Story Highlights
  • Australia into Champions Trophy final after thumping England by nine wickets
  • Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson both hit centuries as Australia reach 258-1
  • Earlier, Tim Bresnan top scored with 80 as England were bowled out for 257
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(CNN) -- Ricky Ponting's Australia maintained their domination over England with a crushing nine-wicket victory in their Champions Trophy semifinal on Friday.

Ricky Ponting scored his 28th one-day international to help Australia crush England at Centurion.

Ricky Ponting scored his 28th one-day international to help Australia crush England at Centurion.

Captain Ponting and Shane Watson both hit unbeaten hundreds in a new Australian record one-day stand of 252, to steer their team to their 258-run target with more than eight overs to spare.

Ponting's undefeated 111 under the lights at Centurion was his 28th one-day international hundred, and he became the first Australian to register 12,000 runs in the process.

It also charged him to the top of the tournament's scorers' chart and kept the Australians on course to claim their fourth 50-over crown in five attempts.

Opener Watson capped a fine personal all-round display by weighing in with 136 not out, getting to three figures with his third six, and striking seven in all thanks to a late flurry, as holders Australia followed up their 6-1 NatWest Series win in style.

Having posted 257 thanks to a career-best 80 from all-rounder Tim Bresnan, England's hopes of a second straight win against their Ashes rivals rested on taking early wickets.

Graham Onions provided one when he had Tim Paine caught behind in just the second over but there were no further inroads as the absence of paceman Stuart Broad through injury limited their potency.

Ponting, 34, was in imperious mood and having reached 50 off 58 balls, he batted in cruise control to 100, taking a further 46 to double his tally.

Australia will play the winner of the other semifinal between Pakistan and New Zealand in Johannesburg on Saturday.

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