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West Indies v Australia
Antigua, 27 March 2007

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World Cup Super 8, Antigua:
Australia 322-6 beat West Indies 219 by 103 runs

By Paul Grunill and Sam Lyon

Glenn McGrath celebrates the vital wicket of Chris Gayle
Glenn McGrath celebrates the vital wicket of Chris Gayle

Australia underlined their status as World Cup favourites with a convincing 103-run win over West Indies in their Super 8 game in Antigua.

Glenn McGrath and Brad Hogg each took three wickets as they dismissed the home side for 219 in 45.3 overs.

West Indies never recovered from a poor start in reply to Australia's 322-6 but were saved from total collapse by Brian Lara (77) and Denesh Ramdin (52).

Matthew Hayden hit 158 for Australia on day one of the rain-interrupted match.

And his powerful 143-ball effort meant West Indies would have to produce something special with the bat to get anywhere near their target.

But supporters at the new Sir Vivian Richards Stadium barely had time to get their bearings before Shiv Chanderpaul was adjudged lbw to a full length delivery from Shaun Tait, which TV replays suggested might have gone on to miss off stump.

Chris Gayle is a man with the weight of shot to match Hayden, but he never looked comfortable and only managed two singles in eight overs before trying to pull McGrath's second delivery, resulting in a skied catch to Shane Watson.

Marlon Samuels
Samuels looks to the sky as a mis-hit heads towards the cover fielder

It was a serious misjudgement by Gayle, but the awful shot which led to Marlon Samuels being caught at cover for four was even worse, one hand coming off the bat as he tried to hoist McGrath over the mid-on region.

Ramnaresh Sarwan helped Lara stop the rot by sharing a stand of 71 for the fourth wicket, only to undo all his good work by hitting a full toss from Hogg straight to mid-on and departing for 29.

Dwayne Bravo adopted a similar cavalier approach which had led to the undoing of his top order team-mates as he drilled a ball from McGrath straight to cover after making only nine. Lara had seen enough, and after reaching his 63rd one-day fifty he took the aerial route to deposit Hogg over long-off for the first six of the innings.

The bowler gained his revenge when Lara missed the ball as he tried to dab fine past the keeper, leaving the umpire with a straightforward lbw decision and Dwayne Smith followed in similar fashion in Hogg's next over.

Only Ramdin detained Australia for long thereafter, running well between the wickets to reach a 41-ball fifty before being deceived by Nathan Bracken's slower ball and caught behind by Adam Gilchrist.

Matthew Hayden
Hayden has been at the top of his form in his last innings

The end was not long in coming as Tait fired a rapid yorker past the inadequte defences of Daren Powell to finish with 2-43 and prove once again that he is an able spearhead replacement for Brett Lee, who missed the tournament because of injury.

The game had to be played over two days because rain prevented West Indies beginning their innings on Tuesday after Hayden had made the highest score by an Australian in a World Cup match.

His innings, in which he took 18 balls to get off the mark, included four sixes and 14 fours and followed a 66-ball hundred in their previous game against South Africa.

He eventually holed out at long-off attempting another six off Bravo but 99 came off the last 10 overs, with the help of 33 off 26 balls by Watson, to put the target well out of reach.

SEE ALSO
How the Super 8s work
27 Mar 07 |  Cricket


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