Australia back with a bang as they thrash West Indies
by AFP

Ground:Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur
Scorecard:Australia v West Indies
Player:DR Smith, IDR Bradshaw, JE Taylor, MJ Cosgrove, SM Katich, RT Ponting, MJ Clarke, SR Watson, MG Johnson, NW Bracken, CH Gayle, S Chanderpaul
Event:DLF Cup 2006/07

DateLine: 12th September 2006


Australia returned to international cricket with a bang Tuesday, sparking an embarrassing West Indies batting collapse to win their opening DLF Cup one-dayer here by 78 runs.


Set 280 to win at 5.6 runs an over, the West Indies looked to be cruising with Shivnarine Chanderpaul smashing a majestic 92 before it all went badly wrong.


Making the most of some hapless early bowling from a rusty Australia, the left-hander cracked four sixes and 10 fours, putting together a first wicket partnership of 136 with Chris Gayle (58).


But once he went, the West Indies lost their backbone.


They lost nine wickets for just 29 runs as the Aussies ran riot in their first international since touring Bangladesh in April.


Shane Watson took 4-42 from eight overs while Glenn McGrath, returning from a self-imposed eight-month break to help his wife Jane fight breast cancer, ended with 1-30 off nine economical overs.


The West Indies had raced to 34-0 off the first eight overs with Chanderpaul in devastating form, hitting Nathan Bracken for 15 in one over then whacking him for 17 in another.


McGrath, 36, took time to settle and find his length, bowling four wides in his first over, and he clearly did not like what he was doing as he muttered to himself and yelled in frustration.


But he soon found a line and length and took the wicket of Dwayne Bravo.


At the other end Chanderpaul and Gayle were helping themselves to runs all around the Kinrara Oval, first off Bracken, whose five overs cost 43 runs, and then off Mitchell Johnson, who was given a chance ahead of Brett Lee.


Spotted by Dennis Lillee as a 17-year-old, Johnson is touted as Australia's best faster bowling prospect since Lee and while he was smacked around he redeemed himself by finally removing Chanderpaul.


The Guyanan looked set for a century before he top edged a rising delivery to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, behind the stumps in place of a rested Adam Gilchrist.


Brian Lara came to the crease but lasted just three balls and was back in the pavilion for one.


It gave Australia a sniff of victory and they grabbed it with both hands, reducing the West Indies from 172-2 to 201 all out.


Aggressive half-centuries from Michael Clarke (81) and Australian captain Ricky Ponting (54) had earlier led their team to 279-9 after a shaky start.


Clarke, playing in his 83rd limited overs game, brought up his 18th one-day 50 off 57 balls.


Ponting, who won the toss and opted to bat, hit a brisk 54 at more than a run a ball, striking nine fours in a 97-run partnership with Simon Katich after Phil Jaques had fallen cheaply.


West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor took 3-59 with Ian Bradshaw and Dwayne Smith snaring two wickets apiece, for 36 and 41 respectively.


Fidel Edwards chipped in with 1-38 and Dwayne Bravo took the crucial scalp of Clarke.


Australia opted for an experimental team, leaving Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Brad Hogg and Brett Lee out of the side.


The plan was to give an opportunity to Mark Cosgrove, Johnson and Daniel Cullen to prove their worth with the Champions Trophy in India next month and the Ashes series against England in November.


The match was played in front of only a smattering of spectators at the Kinrara Oval as cricket authorities experiment with bringing the game to Southeast Asia.


The tri-series also features India who play their first game against the West Indies on Thursday.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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