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Rain rescues Aussies as batsmen fall like rain drops
by AFP


Ground:Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane
Scorecard:Australia v West Indies
Player:WW Hinds, S Chanderpaul, BC Lara, PT Collins, MJ Clarke

DateLine: 22nd January 2005

 

Rain came to the rescue of unbeaten world champions Australia at Brisbane's Gabba ground, sparing them a likely humiliating defeat in their tri-series limited-over cricket match against the West Indies.

 

Initially chasing 264 runs off 50 overs for victory on Friday, Australia had already lost openers Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist for six runs apiece with the total on 12 off five overs when play was first interrupted by rain.

 

After a two-hour delay, the host nation then resumed, facing a revised 195 runs off 28 overs, a figure determined under the Duckworth-Lewis scoring system.

 

But Australian wickets again tumbled faster than the rain drops and with left-armer Pedro Collins claiming 3-8, the home side had crashed to 43 for 5 off 11 overs when play was again halted -- this time for good.

 

Under the rules of international one-day cricket, a minimum of 20 overs need to be bowled for a result to be reached.

 

The jubilant West Indians had celebrated vigorously as each Australian batsman trudged back to the dressing rooms -- both before rain stopped play and after the resumption.

 

They had lost their two opening matches in the series against Australia and Pakistan and a win would have breathed new life into the competition.

 

Instead, the two teams shared the six points on offer, although the result will give the visitors a huge morale boost.

 

Collins was the main destroyer -- he took the wickets first of Hayden, then Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who he trapped lbw for just two after the resumption.

 

He also snared allrounder Andrew Symonds, caught behind for a duck, continuing a run of poor form with the bat at international level for the Australian.

 

Even Michael Clarke, who had opened with success for Australia in the two previous matches scoring 66 and 97, could not withstand the Windies onslaught and was caught by Marlon Samuels off Mervyn Dillon for two.

 

The Windies had won the toss and batted first on an excellent wicket in hot, humid conditions.

 

Overcoming the setback of the dubious dismissal of captain Brian Lara, opener Wavell Hinds set about building an innings, grafting 107 runs from 138 balls in a determined display.

 

It was his third one-day century in four matches against the world champions.

 

The tourists had started with a flurry, making 22 runs off the first two overs from pacemen Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie.

 

The formidable Chris Gayle, still nursing a shoulder injury, led the way -- smacking a huge six followed by a four off Gillespie.

 

But his zeal for quick runs was also his downfall and soon after the Australian had the last laugh when Gayle stood back and left his wicket badly exposed as he went for a big swing, missing the ball which collected his off-stump.

 

His dismissal for 26 off 22 balls meant the more pedestrian Hinds became the anchor and with incoming batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan the pair built a 55-run partnership.

 

Sarwan was eventually trapped lbw after Australian captain Ricky Ponting tried a change in bowling, bringing on part-time spinner Darren Lehmann who dismissed him in his first over.

 

With the much-vaunted Lara coming to the crease, hopes were high for a tight contest between him and speedster Lee.

 

But the duel had barely gotten started when umpire Simon Taufel gave Lara out, caught behind by Adam Gilchrist, off a seaming Lee delivery which televison replays indicated he had missed.

 

Lara paused at the crease then glared at Taufel as he trudged off.

 

Hinds continued to hold the innings together on an excellent batting wicket when Shivnarine Chanderpaul began to quicken the tempo.

 

He lasted until the 48th over when he top-edged a delivery from allrounder Shane Watson in the air to Gilchrist for 107, including eight boundaries.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)



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