Cricket: Ambrose punishes the Australians

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Australia 119; West Indies 135-1

CURTLY AMBROSE devastated Australia's batting with one of Test cricket's most stunning spells of fast bowling on the opening day of the fifth and decisive Test.

His burst of seven wickets for one run in the space of 32 deliveries after lunch reduced Australia to 119 all out, their sixth lowest total in 77 Tests against the West Indies. After that, his captain, Ritchie Richardson, led a similarly merciless batting assault.

By the close the West Indies were 15 ahead with only one wicket down and Australia's challenge for the Sir Frank Worrell Trophy they have not held since 1978 had been virtually obliterated.

'I just kept going hoping it would come good, and it did,' he said. 'I was hoping to get six wickets to get 30. You're lucky to get 30 wickets in a season these days. Well, I've got past that.'

Ambrose had been wicketless in his opening eight overs, but he returned in the afternoon with a salvo of such speed and precisely controlled movement on a typically fast and bouncy Perth pitch (albeit with a strong breeze at his back) that worthy Test batsmen were reduced to novices. In 10 successive overs the bean-pole Antiguan swept aside the Australian batting, reserving a first-ball dismissal for Test cricket's second highest scorer, Allan Border, one of six victims caught off the outside edge.

Between his first victim, the tentative Mark Waugh and his last, the debutant No 10, Jo Angel, Ambrose delivered 32 balls and conceded a solitary, uncertain, run. It was another of the timely and incisive spells that have elevated him to a status alongside the great West Indian fast bowlers. Only a final run-out, born of the desperation he had wrought, reduced his take as Australia tumbled from 85 for 2.

Ambrose's demolition was followed by the heavy artillery of the batting as the West Indies sailed into the lead with a succession of boundaries. Richardson , under his ever present and expansive maroon sunhat, led the charge with two of the four sixes and seven of the 16 fours that were pummelled by the confident West Indians. He needed only 40 balls for his 47 before accepting Craig McDermott's challenge to try for a third hooked six and holing out on the backward square leg boundary.

First day of five: Australia won toss

AUSTRALIA - First Innings

D C Boon c Richardson b Ambrose. . . . . 44

J L Langer c Murray b Bishop. . . . . . . . 10

S R Waugh c Murray b Bishop. . . . . . . . . 13

M E Waugh c Murray b Ambrose. . . . . . . . . 9

D R Martyn c Simmons b Ambrose. . . . . . 13

*A R Border c Murray b Ambrose. . . . . . . 0

I A Healy c Lara b Ambrose. . . . . . . . . . . 0

M G Hughes c Arthurton b Ambrose. . . . . 0

J Angel c Murray b Ambrose. . . . . . . . . . . 0

S K Warne run out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

C J McDermott not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Extras (8lb 1w 6nb). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

Fall: 1-27 2-58 3-85 4-90 5-90 6-100 7-102 8-104 9-104

Bowling: Ambrose 18-9-25-7 (1nb); Bishop 11-6-17-2 (1w); Walsh 11.2-2-45-0 (4nb); Cummins 7- 0-24-0.

WEST INDIES - First Innings

D L Haynes ret hurt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

P V Simmons not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

*R B Richardson c Langer b McDermott 47

B C Lara not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Extras (lb4 nb2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Total (for 1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

Fall: 1-111

To bat: K L T Arthurton, J C Adams, J R Murray, A C Cummins, I R Bishop, C E L Ambrose, C A Walsh.

Bowling (to date): McDermott 13-3-37-1 (1nb); Hughes 10-4-23-0 (1nb); Angel 7-0-43-0; Warne 5-0-28-0.

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