Cricket: Lara shines as West Indies slump

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The Independent Online
West Indies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .252

Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-1

FOR ALL the new-look West Indies' improvement this tour, their batting collapses remain as familiar and embarrassing to them as scandal has become to the House of Windsor.

Their latest, on the opening day of the fourth Test, considerably reduced their chances of the victory they need to level matters in the series. It came after they had won the toss, batted and seen Desmond Haynes and Phil Simmons provide them with ample foundation for a sizeable total.

They added 84 in the first hour and 50 minutes but their effort was undone in an hour either side of lunch when five wickets fell for 52. It was left to the suspect lower order, held together by the wicketkeeper Junior Murray in his second Test innings, to raise even a moderate total of 252. Once more Brian Lara sparkled with the top score of 52, putting on 55 with Murray at a critical time, but the 63 runs added after his dismissal were even more vital.

The early West Indian demise at least left their fast bowlers a possible 17 overs at the Australians in gloomy light under the heavy cloud cover that persisted throughout the day. After 6.5 overs, it became too dark and play was halted for the day, but even that was enough for Ian Bishop to make an impact with the fastest, most hostile bowling of the series.

Having removed Mark Taylor to a slip catch with his third ball, he then subjected the 22-year-old left-hander Justin Langer to a torrid initiation to Test cricket which included a fearful blow on the back of the head that split his helmet and necessitated two on-field medical inspections before he was allowed to continue.

Fortunately for him and Australia, the elements intervened to prevent further mayhem with another 10.1 overs available. Adelaide has a justified reputation as the truest pitch in the country and Australia could put the match, and the series, out of West Indies' reach when the pitch is at its best on the second and third days.

(First day: West Indies won toss)

WEST INDIES - First Innings

D L Haynes st Healy b May . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

P V Simmons c Hughes b S R Waugh . . . . . . . . . . . .46

*R B Richardson lbw b Hughes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

B C Lara c Healy b McDermott . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52

K L Arthurton c S R Waugh b May . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

C L Hooper c Healy b Hughes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

J R Murray not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49

I R Bishop c M Waugh b Hughes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

C E L Ambrose c Healy b Hughes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

K C G Benjamin b M E Waugh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

C A Walsh lbw b Hughes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Extras (lb11, nb12) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Total (all out, 67.3 overs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .252

Fall: 1-84, 2-99, 3-129, 4-130, 5-134, 6-189, 7-206, 8-206, 9-247, 10-252.

Bowling: McDermott 16-1-85-1 (7nb); Hughes 21.3-3-64-5 (4nb); S R Waugh 13-4-37-1; May 14-1- 41-2 (1nb); Warne 2-0-11-0; M E Waugh 1-0-3-1.

AUSTRALIA - First Innings

M A Taylor c Hooper b Bishop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

D C Boon not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

J L Langer not out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Extras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Total (for 1, 6.5 overs) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Fall: 1-1.

Bowling (to date): Ambrose 3.5-1-2-0; Bishop 3-3- 0-1.

To bat: M E Waugh, S R Waugh, *A R Border, I A Healy, M G Hughes, S K Warne, T B A May, C J McDermott.

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