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Aussies-Windies match to resume on Wednesday

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
 
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St John's, Antigua:Matthew Hayden's commanding innings of 158 left world champions Australia in a strong position against hosts West Indies before rain forced the opening Super Eight match of this World Cup into a second day.

Hayden's record-breaking display was the centrepiece of Australia's 322 for six after they'd lost the toss.

But rain, which had been falling steadily during the Australia innings, meant the West Indies' reply never got started in the first major match staged at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

The match will be resumed at 0930am local time (1330GMT) Wednesday with the hosts chasing 323 to win off 50 overs.

Scorecard

Earlier, Hayden produced one of the great World Cup innings, providing a master-class in how to pace a big score after taking 18 balls to get off the mark following West Indies captain Brian Lara's decision to field first in overcast conditions.

His hundred, his second in as many matches, was the highest score by an Australian at the World Cup, surpassing the 143 not out made by Andrew Symonds four years ago against Pakistan in Johannesburg, and the ninth best in the history of the tournament.

This innings came after Hayden's 101 in the 83-run win against South Africa on Saturday.

It was also the 35-year-old left-handed opener's third hundred in as many one-day internationals against Test nations following his Australian record 181 not out against New Zealand last month in Hamilton.

And yet for all his bludgeoning hitting, Hayden struggled at the start of his innings with the Queenslander taking 18 balls to get off the mark.

All the hosts' bowlers suffered, with Jerome Taylor the most expensive as his 10 wicketless overs went for 67 runs.

However, West Indies may take heart from the fact the four highest totals to win batting second in one-day internationals have all been made against Australia since the 2005/06 season.

Australia lost Hayden's opening partner Adam Gilchrist for seven when he was caught behind off Daren Powell by opposing wicket-keeper Dinesh Ramdin.

It was not until the seventh over, when captain Ricky Ponting hooked paceman Powell for six, that Australia had their first boundary.

Hayden then drove the next two deliveries, from Taylor, for fours past mid-off.

Ponting had looked good in making 35 off 36 balls before he ran himself out when he went for a non-existent single off Taylor only for Ramnaresh Sarwan at extra-cover to hit the stumps at the bowler's end.

Australia, now 76 for two, almost lost Michael Clarke in similar fashion as the innings entered a jittery phase.

And Hayden himself would have been out for 28 if Lara's throw from mid-on had hit after he'd been sent back by Clarke.

But a stand of 98 in 16 overs which moved Australia onto 174 for three ended when medium-pacer Dwayne Bravo had Clarke lbw for 41 off just 42 balls.

Hayden, after completing his ninth one-day international hundred in 110 balls, opened up.

He drove Taylor for six over long-on, lofted him wide of long-off for four and drove him high over long-on again for a six into the upper tier of the stands for three boundaries in as many balls.

Finesse followed force when Hayden late cut spinner Marlon Samuels down to third man only for the next ball to be slammed over long-on for six.

The onslaught was halted briefly when rain, which had been falling steadily, stopped play with Australia 286 for five in the 47th over and Hayden unbeaten on 153.

But the first ball back saw Hayden thrash Corey Collymore for four past the fumbling Dwayne Smith on the long-off boundary.

His innings ended when he chipped Bravo to Samuels at long-off having faced 143 balls with four sixes and 14 fours.

AFP

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