Cricket: West Indies rue rash strokes

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The Independent Online
West Indies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .252 and 146

Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .213

THE fourth Test between Australia and the West Indies went through a succession of convulsions on the third day here yesterday. No sooner had one team secured a definite advantage than the other wrested it back, the balance shifting six times in the six hours during which 17 wickets fell for 259 runs.

By the end, three innings were completed and Australia required 186 runs in their second innings on the fourth day to win the Test and claim their first series victory over the West Indies since they beat Clive Lloyd's team 5-1 in 1975-76.

The fast bowler, Craig McDermott, and the rehabilitated off-spinner, Tim May, playing his first Test in four years on his home ground, benefited most from the carelessness at either end of the order. The West Indies had earlier squeezed a first-innings lead of 39 only to be all out for 146 in their second from 41.5 overs in just three hours.

As the first four wickets fell for 65 in 13 overs, McDermott retired at tea with figures of 3 for 42 from seven overs. Richie Richardson and Carl Hooper restored sanity by adding 59 before the sight of two spinners operating in tandem prompted another bout of rashness. The last six wickets fell for 22 off nine overs, five to May for five runs from 32 balls. The other, that of Richardson, was claimed by the leg-spinner, Shane Warne.

The contest was evenly balanced after two rain-shortened days as Australia resumed at 100 for 3 in reply to to 252 but it fluctuated from start to finish. Within half an hour Curtly Ambrose shifted it towards the West Indies, dispatching Allan Border, Ian Healy and Steve Waugh. They were gone in the space of nine balls from Ambrose which cost him nine runs.

Fortunately for Australia, two dogged characters, David Boon and Merv Hughes, came together to repulse the threat of collapse by adding 69. Boon, resuming his innings after retiring hurt on the first afternoon, was unbeaten on 39 when the innings was over. Hughes made a vital 43.

The West Indies lead of 39 was useful in view of the low totals but their batsmen treated it as if it was 239 and the match of four, rather than five, days. Desmond Haynes, Brian Lara and Keith Arthurton chased wide deliveries and only Phil Simmons, bowled by a perfect leg-cutter from McDermott, could genuinely claim to have been undone by a decent ball.

(Third day: West Indies won toss)

WEST INDIES - First Innings 252 (B C Lara 52; M G Hughes 5-64).

AUSTRALIA - First Innings

(Overnight: 100 for 3) D C Boon not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 S R Waugh c Murray b Ambrose. . . . . . . . . . . . 42 * A R Border c Hooper b Ambrose. . . . . . . . . . .19 ] I A Healy c Hooper b Ambrose. . . . . . . . . . . .0 M G Hughes c Murray b Hooper. . . . . . . . . . . . 43 S K Warne lbw b Hooper. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0 T B A May c Murray b Ambrose. . . . . . . . . . . . .6 C J McDermott b Ambrose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Extras (b7 lb3 nb19). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Total (75.2 overs). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .213

Fall: 1-1 2-16 3-46 4-108 5-108 6-112 7-181 8-181 9-197.

Bowling: Ambrose 28.2-6-74-6; Bishop 18-3-48-1; Benjamin 6-0-22-1; Walsh 10-3-34-0; Hooper 13-4-25-2.

WEST INDIES - Second Innings

D L Haynes c Healy b McDermott. . . . . . . . . . . 11 P V Simmons b McDermott. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 * R B Richardson c Healy b Warne. . . . . . . . . . 72 B C Lara c S R Waugh b Hughes. . . . . . . . . . . .7 K L Arthurton c Healy b McDermott. . . . . . . . . . 0 C L Hooper c Hughes b May. . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 J R Murray c M E Waugh b May. . . . . . . . . . . . .0 I R Bishop c M E Waugh b May. . . . . . . . . . . . .6 C E Ambrose st Healy b May. . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 K C G Benjamin c Warne b May. . . . . . . . . . . . .0 C A Walsh not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 Extras (lb2 nb12). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Total (41.5 overs). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146

Fall: 1-14 2-49 3-63 4-65 5-124 6-137 7-145 8-146 9-146.

Bowling: McDermott 11-0-66-3 (12nb); Hughes 13-1-43- 1; S R Waugh 5-1-8-0; May 6.5-3-9-5; Warne 6-2-18-1.

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