Cricket: Border makes his mark

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The Independent Online
ALLAN BORDER passed a personal landmark while consolidating Australia's powerful position on the second day of the third Test against West Indies yesterday.

When he pushed off-spinner Carl Hooper to mid-on an hour and 10 minutes into play the left- handed Australian captain scampered through for his 10,000th run in Test cricket, a figure only previously reached by India's little master, Sunil Gavaskar.

By the time Border was finally out for 74, 35 minutes before tea, he had drawn to within 69 of Gavaskar's pinnacle of 10,122 and his sixth-wicket partnership of 155 with his fellow left-hander, Greg Matthews, had taken the match completely out of West Indies grasp. They were left to battle for a draw over the last three days to avoid going two down in the series.

As it was Border gave them eight awkward overs at the end with his declaration at 503 for 9 and, for the fifth consecutive time in the series they lost an early wicket. Phil Simmons, their century-maker of the second Test, edged Craig McDermott's outswinger and even though wicketkeeper Ian Healy fumbled the catch Mark Taylor, standing beside him at first slip held the rebound.

Border achieved this latest personal goal in his 235th innings in his 136th Test. By the time he calls it a day, probably after next season's home and away series against South Africa when he will be 38, he should have extended the run standard to an unattainable level.

A crowd of 26,511 in the city where Border was born and first cultivated his appetite for runs, rose to proclaim his latest achievement. By fortunate coincidence and for a variety of reasons nine of the game's leading 25 scorers in Tests were among them.

David Gower, Greg and Ian Chappell and Doug Walters all lauded him in their capacities as television and radio commentators. The West Indians, Sir Gary Sobers and Gordon Greenidge, in Australia promoting Barbados tourism, watched from the committee room along with Australia's Neil Harvey. A somewhat less charitable view would probably have come from Desmond Haynes, on the field, and the West Indies coach, Rohan Kanhai, in the team room.

Another of Border's elusive goals has been to win a series over the West Indies. This is his seventh since he first confronted them in 1979/80 and it should not be long before his wait is over.

This West Indies team is in the process of rebuilding with several Test novices and minus the nucleus of battle-hardened foes Border has become accustomed to. Three difficult days now lie ahead if they are to avoid the latest in their string of defeats at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where slow, turning pitches have always been so unsuited to their methods.

The capture of three late wickets on the first afternoon gave their hopes a belated boost and they made a spirited bid for an early breakthrough as Australia resumed at 272 for 5. Curtly Ambrose was again their magnificent spearhead but Border and Matthews eventually blunted their effort and took control.

The West Indies began to wilt and their mood was not improved when Border, at 38, chopped Simmons' medium pace back into his stumps off a no-ball.

Border was caught behind, cutting off Hooper having batted just over four hours. Matthews soon followed but the fact that Hooper's off-break, which provided new wicketkeeper, Junior Murray, with his fourth catch, spun and bounced was an ominous sign for the West Indies.

The brown bare pitch is likely to hold more and more terrors for them over the next three days.

(Australia won toss)

AUSTRALIA - First Innings

(Overnight: 272 for 5)

M A Taylor c Murray b Bishop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

D C Boon c Murray b Adams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76

S R Waugh c Simmons b Ambrose. . . . . . . . . . . . . .100

M E Waugh run out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57

D R Martyn b Ambrose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

* A R Border c Murray b Hooper. . . . . . . . . . . . . .74

G R Matthews c Murray b Hooper. . . . . . . . . . . . . .79

I A Healy not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

M G Hughes c Haynes b Bishop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

S K Warne c Simmons b Hooper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

Extras (lb23 b2 nb5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

Total (for 9 dec). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .503

Did not bat: C J McDermott.

Fall: 1-42 2-160 3-254 4-261 5-270 6-425 7-440 8-469 9-503.

Bowling: Ambrose 35-8-87-2; Bishop 36-6-87-2; Walsh 30-8-86-0; Hooper 45.4-6-137-3; Adams

15-2-56-1; Simmons 10-2-25-0.

WEST INDIES - First Innings

D L Haynes not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

P V Simmons c Taylor b McDermott . . . . . . . . . . . .3

* R B Richardson not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

Extras (lb2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Total (for 1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

Fall: 1-13.

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

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