Cricket: W Indies slip to defeat

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The Independent Online
The West Indies slumped to a crushing 10-wicket defeat in their final warm-up match to complete a dismal preparation for the first Test against Australia, starting in Brisbane on Friday.

The former Test all-rounder Greg Blewett took a career-best 5 for 29 as the tourists were humiliated in Hobart by an Australian XI featuring a host of fringe Test players.

The West Indies coach, Malcolm Marshall, played down the significance of the defeat. "We have struggled at the start of tours before and played well in the first Test. You shouldn't try to read too much into it," he said.

West Indies failed to bat through yesterday after following on in reply to 544 for 4 declared. After being dismissed for 317, West Indies scored 251 in their second innings, leaving the Australians to make 25 for victory.

Australia have recalled Shane Warne after injury but the opener Michael Slater has been replaced by Matthew Elliot for the first Test.

AUSTRALIA (First Test v West Indies, Brisbane, Friday): M Taylor (capt), M Elliott, R Ponting, M Waugh, S Waugh, M Bevan, I Healy (wkt), S Warne, P Reiffel, G McGrath, M Kasprowicz, J Gillespie.

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