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Australians punish poor Kiwis at World Cup; Bangladesh survive scare

Mitchell Johnson, left, celebrates with Cameron White after dismissing New Zealand batsman Nathan McCullum.
Mitchell Johnson, left, celebrates with Cameron White after dismissing New Zealand batsman Nathan McCullum.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cricket World Cup champions Australia cruise to victory against New Zealand
  • NZ captain insists Christchurch earthquake was no excuse for poor display
  • Co-hosts Bangladesh boost quarterfinal hopes with 27-run win over Ireland
  • Irish beat Bangladesh at last World Cup in 2007, but batsmen wasted good start

(CNN) -- Australia showed no mercy for earthquake-hit neighbors New Zealand as a fine bowling display earned the defending champions a seven-wicket victory at the 2011 Cricket World Cup in Nagpur on Friday.

A minute's silence was observed before the match to honor the victims of Tuesday's quake in Christchurch, which has left more than 110 people dead, and both teams -- wearing black armbands -- huddled together in a display of solidarity.

But once the action began, the Kiwis struggled to perform after losing the toss and being sent into bat.

When Ross Taylor became Shaun Tait's third victim with the last ball of the 17th over, New Zealand had collapsed to 73-6.

New Zealand death toll rises

It would be unfair to the people who are going through a lot worse than we are over here to say that was the reason we didn't play very well today
--NZ captain Daniel Vettori
RELATED TOPICS
  • Cricket
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Bangladesh
  • Ireland

Nathan McCullum showed some resistance with 52 off 76 balls, and captain Daniel Vettori hit a lusty 44 off 43 deliveries, but the Black Caps could bat only 45.1 of their allotted 50 overs to be all out for a disappointing 206.

Left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was the pick of the Australian bowlers with figures of 4-33 off 9.1 overs, while Tait took 3-35 from seven overs.

Australia, seeking a fourth successive title and fifth overall, then made light work of the run chase to clinch a second win from two Group A games -- and 25th in a row at the four-yearly tournament.

Openers Shane Watson (62) and Brad Haddin (55) put on 133 in just 18 overs, while vice-captain Michael Clarke (24) and Cameron White (22) were unbeaten as they came home with 16 overs to spare -- helped by a sloppy 29 wides from the New Zealand bowlers.

Vettori said the tragic events back home could not be used as an excuse for his team's poor performance.

"It would be unfair to the people who are going through a lot worse than we are over here to say that was the reason we didn't play very well today. We're professional sportsmen and we have to get up for these games," he told reporters in quotes carried by the AFP agency.

Australia fast bowler Doug Bollinger has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament, having also missed the opening win over Zimbabwe after suffering an ankle injury in a warm-up match.

West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo will be out for four weeks after suffering a similar problem in Thursday's defeat by South Africa, ending his participation unless his team reach the semifinals.

In Friday's Group B action, Bangladesh survived a big scare before avoiding a second consecutive defeat, beating Ireland by 27 runs in Dhaka.

Bangladesh, beaten by co-hosts India in the opening game of the tournament, were bowled out for just 205 in the final over despite making a roaring start on a slow pitch.

Opener Tamim Iqbal top-scored with 44 off 43 balls but after he was third man out with the total at 68 in the 12th over, captain Mushfiqur Rahim (36) and Raqibul Hasan (38) played patient innings to steady proceedings.

However, South Africa-born Andre Botha (3-32), left-arm spinner George Dockrell (2-23) and Australia-born Trent Johnston (2-40) combined to give the Irish hope of repeating their win over Bangladesh at the 2007 World Cup.

And the run chase was looking good at 151-5, but then Kevin O'Brien (37) became the first of four victims for young fast bowler Shafiul Islam in the 37th over as the last six wickets fell for just 27 runs.

On Saturday, Sri Lanka, the third of the tournament's hosts, take on Pakistan in a Group A match in Colombo. Both teams won their opening matches.