Ruthless Aussies complete big win over Windies

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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St John's (Antigua&Barbuda):Australia completed a 103-run victory over West Indies on Wednesday in the opening World Cup Super Eights match which spilled into a reserve 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 Samuel (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-a mark that may go on Saturday when Australia face Bangladesh. Hogg captured three for 56 from 10.


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