Cricket: West Indies on the fast track

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119 and 178

West Indies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .322

West Indies win by innings and 25 runs

A WEST INDIES team supposedly in the process of rebuilding completed one of their most stunning and significant triumphs here yesterday, crushing Australia by an innings and 25 runs on the stroke of lunch on the third day of the fifth and final Test.

After only six Tests as captain and with seven of the players in his developing team having fewer than 15 Tests to their name, Richie Richardson received the Frank Worrell Trophy the West Indies have now held since 1978 during what should have been the first interval of the third day.

Once Ian Bishop finished off the match with his sixth wicket of the innings in the last over before lunch, the West Indian players burst into wild celebrations on the field. With all 16 members packed into the station wagon fast bowler Curtly Ambrose earned as man of the series, and with Ambrose himself at the wheel, they drove a lap of honour of the WACA ground.

The scenes contrasted sharply with those in the Caribbean less than a year ago when a disenchanted public booed Richardson on his first appearance as captain at home and boycotted the Test against South Africa in Barbados.

'I always felt confident we had the talent and the will to overcome all the negative things and win this series,' Richardson said.

The result was effectively determined by Ambrose's 32-ball spell of seven for one in Australia's first innings on the opening day and the home team was never allowed to recover. The coup de grace was applied yesterday by Bishop, Ambrose's principal partner whose speed and accuracy were as devastating as Ambrose's had been.

It was his first series since returning from a two-year lay-off because of a serious back injury and he reached his peak at the very last opportunity. He removed the only two barriers to victory, David Boon and the captain, Allan Border, within three balls of each other in the day's eighth over and returned to round off the innings by dismissing Ian Healy and Craig McDermott in a second spell. His 4 for 26 from seven overs on the day gained him his best Test figures of 6 for 40.

Boon, the one and only Australian consistently to defy the Ambrose-led pace attack all series, was undone by a wicked delivery five runs short of completing 500 in Tests for the third successive home season.

Three balls later Border dragged one back into his stumps to record his first 'pair' in 138 Tests. He had already announced it would be his last against the West Indies against whom he has never been on the winning side in seven series. The effect of the debacle on him personally and on Australian cricket in general will soon become apparent.

No record could immediately be found of any swifter West Indian win in their 294 Tests. Having earlier won the one-day World Series Cup it was an appropriate climax to an astonishing transformation in their fortunes, ironically highlighted by a spectacular display of fireworks over the city staged annually to mark Australia Day. It had been anything but.

(Third day: Australia won toss)

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 119 (C E L Ambrose 7-25).

WEST INDIES - First Innings 322 (P V Simmons 80; M G Hughes 4-71).

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings (Overnight: 75-4) D C Boon b Bishop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 D R Martyn c Ambrose b Cummins. . . . . . . . . .31 * A R Border b Bishop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0 ] I A Healy c Murray b Bishop. . . . . . . . . . 27 M G Hughes c Murray b Walsh. . . . . . . . . . . 22 J Angel not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 C J McDermott c Lara b Bishop. . . . . . . . . . .8 Extras (b1 lb6 nb5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .178

Fall (cont): 5-95 6-95 7-130 8-162 9-170.

Bowling: Ambrose 21-8-54-2; Bishop 16-4-40-6 (3nb); Walsh 12-2-46-1; Cummins 8-3-31-1 (2nb).

Umpires: S Randell and C Timmins.

West Indies won series 2-1

The Australian captain, Allan Border, and the fast bowler Merv Hughes have been reported for alleged breaches of the players' code of conduct during the fifth Test against the West Indies in Perth. Both players were understood to have been charged with dissent following umpiring decisions. Border and Hughes were both fined after being found guilty of similar offences in the first Test in Brisbane in December.

The West Indies have dropped the wicketkeeper David Williams from their squad for the triangular limited-overs tournament beginning in South Africa next week.

WEST INDIES SQUAD (for limited-overs tournament v South Africa and Pakistan, 9-27 February, in South Africa): * R B Richardson, A L Logie, D L Haynes, P V Simmons, B C Lara, C L Hooper, K L T Arthurton, J C Adams, J R Murray), C E L Ambrose, I R Bishop, C A Walsh, A C Cummins, B P Patterson.

Comments