Thursday, March 29, 2007

Barmy Army kept host at bay : World Cup Diary (2007)

Stage: Super Eight
Match: 1 (Aus vs WI)
Result: Australia won by 103 runs

Hayden was the difference.

It was the first match in this world cup that spanned for more than a day. Another big thing that will go down in the history was this being the first match on this virgin pitch named after the great Viv Richards. Like every wise guy, Lara chose to field first after winning the toss. The start was disciplined. Powell got Gilchrist early and Hayden took 18 balls to get off the mark. Thereafter it was no stopping him as he showed some steady n solid shots on this hard batting track, and reached his second hundred of the tournament with a strike rate in 90s. His great knock ended on 158, riding on which, Australia posted another big total, their 4th consecutive 300+ in this WC. Ponting, Clarke and Watson chipped in with cameos and West Indies had some tough task ahead of them. Some intervening showers cut the break to 30 minutes, but the almighty had thought otherwise. The drizzle kept all of them at bay and the covers never went off. Finally when it was impossible to complete even 20 overs in the remaining time of the day, umpires were forced to let the game resume on the following day.

We all started the day expecting some big show. But Gayle force didn't obliged us, as even the biggest grunting bowler Tait bowled a disciplined line and trapped Chanderpaul lbw in his miser first spell. Bracken too deservingly got to his most economical spell as he gave only 5 runs in his first 5 overs. But it was McGrath and later on Hogg, who relished some success by taking 3 wickets apiece. Eventually they were all gone inside their 50 overs helping oz to make up for the slow over rate. With top-order not up to their best display: Gayle 2, Chanderpaul 5, Sarwan 29 & Samuels 4, the big margin (103 runs) ensured a comprehensive win for Australia. Lara 77 and Ramdin 52 were the only positive that could come out from their defeat; while the former kept holding their charge, the latter showed plenty of ability and class.

Australia: 6 for 322 (50 overs) (Hayden 158, Clarke 41, Bravo 2/49)
West Indies: 219 all out (45.3 overs) (Lara 77, Ramdin 52, McGrath 3/31, Hogg 3/10)

Image src: cricinfo
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