Cricket: McGrath has the last word

Australia 269 and 126-2 West Indies 167
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The Independent Online
AUSTRALIA QUICKLY completed their spectacular rout of the West Indies of the previous afternoon and proceeded to consolidate their advantage on the third day of the first Test here yesterday.

Glenn McGrath, who had initiated the West Indian demise in the last hour on Saturday, plucked out Merv Dillon's off-stump with a late in-swinger in the day's opening over. It completed a collapse in which the last seven wickets fell for 18 and surrendered a match-winning lead of 102 to the combative Australians. By tea, delayed after two rain interruptions on a cloudy, humid afternoon, they had extended their lead to 228, reaching 126 for 2 with opener Michael Slater, 62, and Mark Waugh, 33, well entrenched in a partnership already worth 81.

Dillon was McGrath's fifth wicket, the 12th time in his 46 Tests the New South Welshman has collected at least half the opposition wickets.

The batting failure was depressingly familiar for the West Indies. It followed captain Brian Lara's freak run out for 62, just as his dismissal led to the loss of the last eight wickets for 42 in their previous Test, against South Africa in January.

Once again, the West Indian bowlers were left with a thankless task of salvaging something from the match. They made an encouraging start, however. Courtney Walsh carried his tally of Test wickets to 401 when he had the left-handed opener, Matthew Elliott caught at slip. Justin Langer was also a victim to an edged catch, to the wicket-keeper Ridley Jacobs, off Merv Dillon. But Slater and Waugh ensured there were no further set-backs.

Third day; Australia won toss

AUSTRALIA - First innings 269 (G Blewett 58; C Walsh 3 for 60, C Ambrose 3 for 35).

WEST INDIES - First innings

(Overnight 167 for 9)

S L Campbell lbw b McGrath 9

S Ragoonath run out (McGrath) 9

D Joseph lbw b McGrath 50

*B C Lara run out (Langer) 62

J C Adams b MacGill 13

R D Jacobs lbw b MacGill 6

P T Collins lbw b McGrath 1

R I C Holder lbw b MacGill 0

C E L Ambrose c Slater b McGrath 0

M Dillon b McGrath 0

C A Walsh not out 0

Extras (b4, lb2, nb11) 17


Fall: 16, 28, 116, 149, 156, 163, 163, 163, 167, 167.

Bowling: G McGrath 14-3-50-5; J Gillespie 12-3-34-0; S C G MacGill 16- 5-41-3, S Warne 14-4-35-0, G Blewett 1-0-1-0.

AUSTRALIA - Second innings

M Elliott c Joseph b Walsh 0

M Slater not out 62

J Langer c Jacobs b Dillon 24

M Waugh not out 33

Extras 7

TOTAL (for 2) 126

To bat: S Waugh, G Blewett, I Healy, S Warne, J Gillespie, S MacGill, G McGrath.

Umpires: E Nichols, P Willey. TV replay umpire: C Cumberbatch. Match referee: R Subba Row.

n Mark Taylor, the former Australian test cricket captain, expects to play the final game of his first-class career this week, for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield against Tasmania.