हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Maher punishes Windies undermanned bowling

Published: Saturday, December 9, 2000, 20:00 [IST]
 
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Hobart (Australia): Australia 'A' opener Jimmy Maher hit 150 as Australia's aspiring Test batsmen queued up to display their wares and compound West Indian misery on day one of the four-day cricket tour match here on Saturday.The saloon passage of Australia 'A' to 306 for four at stumps also underlined the oddity of Windies' captain Jimmy Adams' decision to field after winning the toss. While the result of this match matters little, its context is vital to both sides.For the Australian team, it is a chance to press claims for Test honours. For the Windies, after losing the first two Tests by an innings, it is a chance for their brittle batsmen - particularly Brian Lara - to find some touch on Bellerive Oval's friendly wicket.Yet when Adams won the toss for the first time in five first-class matches, he fielded. That condemned his bowlers, who have performed decently in the Tests but were seriously undermanned here following the late withdrawal of Courtney Walsh with a bad back, to a punishing day.Adams defended his decision, saying the first morning often provided movement and if he could have picked up two or three wickets before lunch, it would have been justified.The outcome was predictable, with the only failure being Tasmanian opener Jamie Cox.Maher's was the dominant innings. He gave only one almost impossible chance in a display of patience interspersed with aggressive drives and pulls, before being bowled by Colin Stuart with the second new ball just before stumps. He hit 15 fours and a six in his 339-minute innings.Martin Love scored 76, putting on 156 with Maher, and captain Damien Martyn a brisk 37 - a total he would consider a failure at Bellerive.But if, as speculated, this match is also a trial to see whether Martyn or Western Australian team-mate Simon Katich will replace Steve Waugh in the third Test in Adelaide, the manner of Martyn's short innings should ensure he did himself no harm.Katich, however, was still there, on 25 and in ominous touch. He will resume on Sunday with Brad Hodge (2), who has been plundering runs for Victoria.Given they had only three specialist bowlers, the tourists held up well. Stuart was the most successful with three for 76 and Marlon Black the liveliest. The surprise packet was 19-year-old replacement batsman and part-time spinner Marlon Samuels.When he was first called to the crease just before lunch, he was less than 24 hours off the flight that ended his three-day journey from Jamaica. But he bowled with nagging accuracy, and was largely responsible for curbing the run rate in the middle session.Copyright AFP 2000

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