Cricket: Richardson stops West Indies' rot

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Cricket

Australia 229-6 West Indies 232-6 (West Indies win by 4 wickets)

Richie Richardson delivered the perfect answer to his critics yesterday but is still prepared to step aside as the West Indies captain if his players wish.

Richardson's unbeaten 93 inspired the West Indies to a four-wicket win over the World Cup favourites, Australia, in Jaipur - four days after the surprise defeat by Kenya in Poona which provoked outrage among their supporters back home.

"It was embarrassing in the Caribbean when we lost to Kenya, so I'm very happy for them back home," Richardson said.

The West Indian revival owed much to Richardson's return to form with the bat after Brian Lara had gone for a breezy 60, as well as a cautious game-plan against Shane Warne, who conceded only 30 runs but failed to take a wicket. They also fielded tightly and profited from some fine early bowling from Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose, who conceded just one run in his first five overs.

Richardson should now lead his side in a quarter-final against South Africa in Karachi, barring a win for Kenya over Sri Lanka in Kandy tomorrow.

Australia's total of 229 for 6 was led by Ricky Ponting, who made a superb 102, but Richardson swung the issue in style.

(Australia won toss)

AUSTRALIA

M E Waugh st Browne b Harper 30

*M A Taylor c Browne b Walsh 9

R T Ponting run out 102

S R Waugh b Walsh 57

M G Bevan run out 2

S G Law not out 12

I A Healy run out 3

P R Reiffel not out 4

Extras (lb3, w6, nb1) 10

Total (for 6, 50 overs) 229

Fall: 1-22, 2-84, 3-194, 4-200, 5-216, 6-224.

Did not bat: S K Warne, D W Fleming, G D McGrath.

Bowling: Ambrose 10-4-25-0; Walsh 9-2-35-2; Bishop 9-0-52-0; Harper 10- 0-46-1; Athurton 9-0-53-0; Adams 3-0-15-0.

WEST INDIES

S C Campbell c Healy b Fleming 1

C O Browne run out 10

B C Lara c McGrath b M E Waugh 60

*R B Richardson not out 93

S Chanderpaul b M E Waugh 10

R A Harper lbw b Reiffel 22

K J Athurton lbw b M E Waugh 0

J C Adams not out 17

Extras (lb12, w5, nb2) 19

Total (for 6, 48.5 overs) 232

Fall: 1-1, 2-26, 3-113, 4-146, 5-194, 6-196.

Did not bat: I A Bishop, C E L Ambrose, C A Walsh.

Bowling: Reiffel 10-3-45-1; Fleming 7.5-1-44-1; McGrath 9-0-46-0; Warne 10-1-30-0; M E Waugh 10-1-38-3; Bevan 2-0-17-0.

Umpires: Mahboob Shah and D R Shepherd.

World Cup update

GROUP A: Yesterday: West Indies (232-6) bt Australia (229-6) by four wickets (at Sawai Mansingh stadium, Jaipur, India).

P W L T NR Pts RR

Sri Lanka 4 4 0 0 0 8 0.90

Australia 5 3 2 0 0 6 0.88

India 4 2 2 0 0 4 0.39

W Indies 5 2 3 0 0 4 -0.12

Kenya 4 1 3 0 0 2 -0.50

Zimbabwe 4 1 3 0 0 2 -0.96

REMAINING FIXTURES: Tomorrow: India v Zimbabwe (at Green Park stadium, Kanpur, India). TV: Sky Sports: Live 03.30-11.30. Sri Lanka v Kenya (at Asgiriya stadium, Kandy, Sri Lanka). TV: Sky Sports: Highlights 19.00- 22.00.

GROUP B: Remaining fixtures: Today: South Africa v Netherlands (at stadium, Rawalpindi, India). TV: Sky Sports: Live 03.45-12.00. Tomorrow: Pakistan v New Zealand (at Gaddafi stadium, Lahore). TV: Sky Sports: Highlights 11.30-17.15.

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