Australia save face after Windies pile on pressure
by AFP

Ground:Adelaide Oval
Scorecard:Australia v West Indies
Player:PT Collins

DateLine: 26th January 2005


The West Indies had Australia in serious trouble for the second time in less than a week but failed to close out the home side, allowing them to escape to a respectable total of 269 for 8.


All eyes at the Adelaide Oval were on West Indian bowler Pedro Collins who ripped through the world champions' top order to take 5-43 off 10 overs but his efforts weren't enough to deliver a knock-out punch in the tri-series limited overs match on Wednesday.


The Australians, led first by Simon Katich who made a solid 76 from 86 deliveries, fought back from what had looked like certain disaster with bowler Brett Lee and tailender Jason Gillespie thwarting the Windies as they tried to tighten the noose.


Lee smacked an unbeaten 38 off 44 balls and Gillespie, also unbeaten, knocked 44 from 42 to propel Australia from 196 for 8 in the 38th over.


At one stage they had been 38 for 4, then 85 for 5 in the 18th over.


Collins, bowling left-arm over the wicket, had earlier claimed four wickets from 16 deliveries as the Australians, undefeated so far in the series, wilted before Katich's innings steadied the ship.


The Australians had been lucky to escape with shared points in their last encounter with the West Indies in Brisbane last Friday when rain washed out the match as the home side crashed to 43 for 5 in pursuit of the West Indies' 263.


Collins had also been the main destroyer in that fixture, claiming his best one-day international fixtures until Wednesday's game of 3 for 8, and it looked as though the tourists were determined to pick up from where they left off.


Australia had won the toss and chose to bat on a wicket which was tipped to provide plenty of runs.


Out-of-form Australian opener Matthew Hayden again crashed cheaply, this time making just three runs before got a bottom edge as he tried to slog Collins over mid-wicket in the third over.


Skipper Ricky Ponting became Collins' second victim when he was dismissed for a duck, caught by Dwayne Bravo at cover point.


The badly out-of-form Andrew Symonds was then elevated up the order for Australia but it was rising star Michael Clarke, who opened with Hayden, that was next to go.


Clarke, a century maker against Pakistan in Sydney on Sunday, was clean bowled by Collins for 21 from a delivery which nipped back to claim his off stump.


At that point Australia was struggling at 34 for 3 in the sixth over and veteran Darren Lehmann, the new batsman, could do little to ease the pressure.


He too fell to Collins after adding just four runs to the Australian tally, caught behind by Courtney Browne after getting a bottom edge.


Katich, a stand-in batsman who has been struggling to earn a regular berth in the Australian team, then steadied the innings with Symonds, the pair adding 47 runs before Wavell Hinds entered the fray.


Hinds had Symonds caught behind for 31, bringing replacement wicketkeeper Brad Hadin to the crease where he added 32 runs to the Australian total before being bowled by Bravo.


Bravo also took the wicket of Brad Hogg, caught behind for three.


When Katich fell, trapped lbw to Collins, the Australians were 196 for 8 and looked set to dismiss the home side cheaply on an excellent batting wicket.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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