Australia complete big 103-run win over Windies
By John Mehaffey
March 29, 2007
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (Reuters) - Australia completed a 103-run victory over West Indies yesterday in the opening World Cup Super Eight match which spilled into a second day after rain had stopped play.
Once again captain Brian Lara with 77 was the only player from the host team to offer any real resistance as the West Indies' batting disintegrated in a rash of undisciplined shots at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
The innings finally ended on a hot, sunny afternoon, contrasting with Tuesday's miserable conditions, when Shaun Tait bowled Daren Powell for five to end the innings at 219 with 4.3 overs to spare.
West Indies, chasing 323 to beat the defending champions, were a miserable 20 for three when Lara came to the crease with Chris Gayle (2) and Marlon Samuels(4) succumbing to catches after wild heaves.
He set about repairing the innings in partnership with Ramnaresh Sarwan, who survived a chance to Michael Hussey at mid-wicket with his score on 12, to help bring up the 50 from 19.1 overs.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting brought back his strike bowler Tait, who had generated his highest pace of the tournament with speeds in excess of 150 kilometres an hour (93 miles an hour).
Lara responded with a hook for four, followed by a sumptuous drive though the covers and then a thin edge which also sped to the boundary.
The pair had added 71 for the fourth wicket when Sarwan slapped a full toss from Hogg straight to Ponting at mid-wicket and was out for 29.
Dwayne Bravo (9) became Glenn McGrath's third victim before Lara brought up his 63rd one-day half-century from 62 balls with seven fours.
Lara was eventually out trapped lbw to left-arm spinner Brad Hogg going down on his knees and trying to squeeze a delivery past wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.
A flurry of attacking shots from wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin (52) held the Australians up longer than they might have anticipated before he was caught behind off Nathan Bracken bowling left-arm cutters off his short run.
McGrath, relishing the early moisture in the pitch, finished with three for 31 from eight overs to move to within one wicket of equalling Pakistani Wasim Akram's World Cup record of 55. Hogg captured three for 56 from 10.
Ponting praised the contributions of his bowlers the day after his team posted their fourth consecutive total exceeding 300 in as many matches in the tournament.
"I thought our new ball bowling was excellent," he told a news conference.
Lara said losing three wickets in fewer than 10 overs had been a major factor but defended Gayle’s and Samuels' shot selections. Gayle was caught at mid-wicket trying to pull while Samuels hit an attempted drive straight up into the air.
"I don't think anybody goes out there to play a rash shot and get out," he said. "Some days that might come off and people clap and say 'what a wonderful shot'.
A. Gilchrist c wkp. Ramdin b Powell 7
M. Hayden c Samuels b Bravo 158
R. Ponting run-out (Sarwan) 35
M. Clarke lbw Bravo 41
A. Symonds c wkp. Ramdin b Samuels 13
M. Hussey b Powell 9
S. Watson not out 33
B. Hogg not out 5
Extras: (b-1, lb-9, w-8, nb-3) 21
Total: (6 wkts, 50 overs) 322
Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-76, 3-174, 4-208, 5-234, 6-297.
Bowling: Powell 10-2-53-2; Taylor 10-0-67-0 (w-3), Collymore 10-0-56-0 (w-2), Gayle 4-0-29-0 (nb-2), Bravo 7-0-49-2 (w-2), Samuels 9-0-58-1 (nb-1, w-2).
WEST INDIES innings
C. Gayle c Watson b McGrath 2
S. Chanderpaul lbw Tait 5
R. Sarwan c Ponting b Hogg 29
M. Samuels c Symonds b McGrath 4
B. Lara lbw Hogg 77
D. Bravo c Ponting b McGrath 9
D. Ramdin c wkp Gilchrist b Bracken 52
D. Smith lbw Hogg 9
J. Taylor lbw Symonds 10
D. Powell b Tait 5
C. Collymore not out 1
Extras: (b-1, w-15) 16
Total: (all out, 45.3 overs) 219
Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-16, 3-20, 4-91, 5-107, 6-156, 7-172, 8-199, 9-217.
Bowling: Bracken 9-1-25-1 (w-1), Tait 7.3-0-43-2 (w-7), McGrath 8-1-31-3, Watson 7-0-31-0, Hogg 10-0-56-3 (w-2), Symonds 4-0-32-1 (w-1)
Points: Australia 2, West Indies 0