Hussey~~s maiden ton helps Aussies post 273

Published: Monday, September 18, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kuala Lumpur: A fabulous 109 off 90 balls from stand-in skipper Michael Hussey helped Australia overcome a disastrous start and post 273 for six against the West Indies in the fourth match of the DLF Cup here today.

Australia elected to bat first and Hussey, leading the side in absence of Ricky Ponting who was rested, led from the front to rescue the World Champions after a middle-order collapse.

Australia brought in Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds and Mathew Hayden in the playing eleven, while West Indies selected Marlon Samuels in place of Fidel Edwards.

The West Indies bowlers ripped through the top order and could have got the break-through in the first over itself but Wavell Hinds missed an easy chance to run out Simon Katich.

Katich, however, failed to take advantage of the life as he was ultimately run out for 22.

Jerome Taylor and Ian Bradshaw bowled a tight line and length to stifle the Australian scoring. Law of averages caught up with the star performer of last match Shane Watson as he returned back on duck.

Symonds, who was playing in his first match in the series, also failed to impress falling to Bradshaw. Military medium bowling from Bradshaw clinched the wicket of Michael Clarke as well who was caught by Chris Gayle.

The crisis man for Australia in this series with back-to-back fifties, Clarke, could score just one.

Australia were reeling at 64 for four at this stage and West Indies looked all set to upset the Aussie applecart.

Bradshaw completed his full quota unchanged from the far end returning figures of 10-35-2.

At the end of 25 overs, Australia was 101 for four with Mathew Hayden leading the Australian fight back with a patient 48.

Hayden -- playing his first one-day game in 14 months -- was not at his usual fluent best as he grafted through his innings. He did hit a couple of straight fours but none had his stamp of authority.

The left-hander fell just short of his fifty and it was left to Hussey and Brad Haddin to repair the Australian innings and the two did the job with great success.

Initially it was running quick singles and twos and avoiding another wicket at the crucial stage. Haddin took charge after a fifty partnership with his skipper Hussey.

He hit a flurry of sixes, with the spinners Gayle and Samuels bearing the brunt. He hit Gayle over mid-wicket boundary and then hit a huge six over long on off Samuels to propel the Australian scoring. Haddin rocked on to his back foot to hit a massive six over the long leg boundary that raised his fifty. Hussey too stood out, showing much maturity in leading his side with responsibility.

Hussey came to the crease when Australia were tottering at 64 for four and built partnerships to bail out Australia. Hussey first added 40 runs with Hayden for the fifth wicket and then found a wonderful partner in Haddin.

If Haddin threw his bat around for quick runs, Hussey was more copybook, but not any less effective. His elegant cover drives stood out as also, occasional forays in reverse sweep that fetched him boundaries. His timing and placement were enough to earn him a scoring rate in surplus of 100.

With slog overs setting in, Hussey chanced his arm with great success. A straight six off Bravo landed in the adjoining football field, while another clip off Taylor cleared the long leg fence.

Hussey hit a boundary in the same area next ball to complete his hundred.

Haddin was out in the last over to Bravo but not before he had added precious 166 runs for the sixth wicket with Hussey.

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