reports from Port of Spain
West Indies 282-5
West Indies win by 134 runs
It was more the Brian Lara extravaganza than a cricket match as West Indies overwhelmed Australia by 134 runs in their one-day international yesterday to lead the best of five series 2-1.
The uncrowned king of Trinidad regaled the crowd with 139, made from 135 balls with three sixes and 15 fours, to power West Indies to 285 for 5 from their 50 overs. Slick fielding that produced three run-outs and accurate bowling never allowed the dispirited Australians to raise a worthy challenge. They lost their last seven wickets for 30 from 41 balls and were bowled out for 148 off the fifth ball of the 35th over.
Lara, and Trinidadians, have had an unexpectedly lengthy wait for his century for West Indies on his home ground. His amazing feats have all been fashioned elsewhere.
His 12th innings in one-day internationals or Tests at the Queen's Park Oval began with West Indies in potential crisis at 26 for 2, but there was never any uncertainty in his strokeplay. His partners in successive stands were vital to his domination. Carl Hooper compiled 41 from 55 balls as they added 99, and then Jimmy Adams manipulated the strike so that Lara could display his wares. Lara was particularly severe on Shane Warne, who was plundered for 27 from a second spell of three overs.
Everything after that was bound to be anti-climactic and the Australians never raised a fight. Their woes were compounded by injuries to Craig McDermott and batsman Mark Waugh that kept them out of the match. Damien Fleming had to leave the field during his eighth over with a sore shoulder.
P V Simmons c Healy b Fleming 6
S C Williams run out 6
B C Lara c Reiffel b Waugh 139
C L Hooper c Slater b Reiffel 41
J C Adams not out 51
K L T Arthurton c Boon b Waugh 12
J R Murray not out 4
Extras (b6 lb11 w5 nb1) 23
Total (for 5, 50 overs) 282
Fall: 1-17 2-26 3-125 4-260 5-276
Did not bat: W K M Benjamin, V C Drakes, C E L Ambrose, *C A Walsh.
Bowling: Reiffel 10-0-36-1; Fleming 7.3-1-27-1; McGrath 10-0-57-0; Warne 10-1-52-0; Blewett 3-0-32-0; Waugh 9.3-1-61-2.
M J Slater run out 1
*M A Taylor run out 26
R Ponting c Drakes b Simmons 43
D C Boon b Benjamin 4
S R Waugh c Hooper b Simmons 44
G S Blewett st Murray b Hooper 0
I A Healy c Williams b Hooper 3
P R Reiffel run out 1
S K Warne b Simmons 12
D Fleming not out 4
G D McGrath b Simmons 0
Extras (lb4 w4 nb2) 10
Total (34.5 overs) 148
Fall: 1-12 2-50 3-59 4-118 5-124 6-126 7-127 8-129 9-146
Bowling: Ambrose 6-1-8-0; Walsh 4-1-14-0; Benjamin 7-1-31-1; Drakes 7- 0-36-0; Hooper 6-0-37-2; Simmons 4.5-0-18-4.
West Indies won by 134 runs
Man of the match: Brian Lara.