Weakened West Indies win series

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CRICKET

Australia 210-9

West Indies 208-3

West Indies win by 7 wickets

In spite of another emphatic victory in the fourth one-day international at the picturesque Arnos Vale Ground here yesterday that secured the five match series 3-1 with one to play, the West Indies were left with understandable concerns over the fitness of key players.

They were obliged to play more than half the game with Curtly Ambrose, Brian Lara and Winston Benjamin on the physio's table in the dressing- room.

The team physiotherapist, Dennis Waight, reported afterwards that none of the three was serious enough to prompt worries over their readiness for the first Test, starting in Barbados on 31 March.

The Australians did well to reach as many as 210 for 9 from 48 overs after an unsteady start on a pitch with pace and bounce that rendered Ambrose and Courtney Walsh even more of a handful than usual.

A rain delay lasting 50 minutes and someone's forgetfulness in not rolling the pitch between innings caused a reduction in the West Indies' target to 206 from 46 overs.

When Shane Warne separated an opening partnership between Phil Simmons and Sherwin Campbell in his second over, and Glenn McGrath bowled Jimmy Adams soon afterwards, the West Indies were still in first gear and struggling.

A mystifying bowling change then altered the course of the match. Mark Taylor removed Warne after four overs, in which he conceded just 12 runs and looked as comfortable as he has done all series, and replaced him with the uncomplicated medium pace of Greg Blewett. From three overs, he was carted for 26 by Simmons and Carl Hooper. Taylor, even more mystifyingly, then summoned three overs of casual off-spin from David Boon and after that the West Indies were unstoppable. Simmons hit 86 from 109 balls and Hooper an unbeaten 60 from 64.

(Australia won toss)

AUSTRALIA

M J Slater b Arthurton 68

*M A Taylor c Simmons b Walsh 3

M E Waugh c Murray b Benjamin 26

D C Boon b Arthurton 33

S R Waugh c Arthurton b Simmons 25

G S Blewett b Drakes 4

I A Healy c Simmons b Walsh 12

P R Reiffel c Murray b Walsh 9

S K Warne not out 6

C J McDermott run out 11

G D McGrath not out 1

Extras (lb5 w6 nb1) 12

Total (for 9, 48 overs) 210

Fall: 1-6 2-57 3-130 4-137 5-152 6-171 7-190 8-190 9-209.

Bowling: Ambrose 8-0-22-0; Walsh 9-0-30-0; Benjamin 7-0-32-1; Drakes 7-0-36-1; Arthurton 10-0-45-2; Simmons 7-0-40-1.

WEST INDIES

P V Simmons c Healy b Warne 86

S L Campbell st Healy b Warne 20

J C Adams b McGrath 3

C L Hooper not out 60

K L T Arthurton not out 22

Extras (b2 lb10 w4 nb1) 17

Total (for 3, 43.1 overs) 208

Fall: 1-47 2-56 3-152.

Did not bat: B C Lara, J R Murray, W K M Benjamin, V C Drakes, C E L Ambrose, *C A Walsh.

Bowling: McDermott 9-1-46-0; Reiffel 9-1-37-0; McGrath 10-0-40-1; Warne 9.1-3-33-2; Blewett 3-0-26-0; Boon 3-0-14-0.

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