Aussies hat-tricked

TAYLOR, the West Indian hero, is mobbed by team-mates.-K.R. DEEPAK

Australia seemed to have things under control but West Indies pace bowler Jerome Taylor had other ideas. Over to G. VISWANATH.

A game of cricket can bring with it so much intrigue and excitement. As it happened in the Champions Trophy match between Australia and West Indies. Runako Morton and Lara scored memorable half-centuries and the right-arm seamer, Jerome Taylor, performed a hat-trick as West Indies gave Australia a rude jolt.

Though beaten out of sight by the Sri Lankans, Lara sounded confident in the pre-match press conference on the basis of the recent contests between his team and the Australians. He said he would make it a point to remind his team that they had beaten the Australians once in Kuala Lumpur and were calling the shots in the first match before being trampled upon, losing nine wickets for 29 runs.

The West Indies' languid left-arm seamer Ian Bradshaw was even more forthright predicting that the West Indies was capable of beating Australia, England and India.

"We believe that we have the talent not only to win the game against Australia, but also to finish at the top of our group and progress to the semi-finals. We are confident. We played Australia last month in Malaysia and we had positions where we felt we were in some sort of dominance over them."

Bradshaw conceded that Australia was a champion team and would always fight back. He also said that his team had to execute its plans as well as possible. "When you are playing against a champion team you must be on top of your game to win," he contended.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting admitted that the West Indies held a slight advantage having played three matches before the second round, but cited several instances of his team having won in varying conditions. "That's our strength.''

Pre-match, both teams tried to gain the psychological edge. Ponting had authored a piece in a Mumbai newspaper wherein he stated that the pitch at the Brabourne Stadium was a shocker. In recent times, Ponting's transgression of the code of conduct had been condemned and Cricket Australia went to the extent of asking him to behave. He blundered again by commenting on the pitch before his team had played a match at Brabourne. In the event, the pitch chosen for the Australia-West Indies match turned out to be good, unlike the one unveiled for the New Zealand-South Africa encounter.

"Give your best shot between 2.30 p. m. and 6 and then take the match from there,'' was Lara's prescription. Luckily he won the toss, but Wavell Hinds, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith and Ramnaresh Sarwan disappointed with Ponting and Brad Hogg clutching on to dipping catches.

Thereafter, Lara arrived (No. 6) and took control. It was a masterly batting display from the West Indies captain. Runako Morton, Lara's capable partner, smashed a straight four of the first ball he faced and never looked back. Both Lara — severe on left-arm spinner Hogg — and Morton were in great form and boosted the total from 63 for four to 200. Then Lara, affected by severe back spasm, departed, hitting Glenn McGrath to Andrew Symonds.

Lara (71, 94b, 7 x 4, 2 x 6) employed the sweep shot to purpose and executed a superb back cut off Hogg, who conceded 17 runs in 18 balls. Ponting did not call him for a second spell. Lara and Morton felt most comfortable when they were facing the slower bowlers. Morton, for his enterprising, unbeaten 90 (103b, 7x4, 1x6) was named the `Man of the Match.'

The crowd yelled in support of the West Indies as Ian Bradshaw removed Shane Watson and Damien Martyn. In between Jerome Taylor forced an inside edge from Ponting. Gayle invited Symonds to use his feet and beat him in the air and off the pitch. The Australians began to look vulnerable.

Lara didn't take the field and Sarwan was given the responsibility of leading the side. The West Indies down to 13 at the start needed the services of Mumbai wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant to field, but with permission from the Australians.

Off-spinners Gayle and Marlon Samuels bowled well enough, but did not have the skill to dislodge Adam Gilchrist and Michael Clarke. The calm and composed Gilchrist (92, 112b, 11x4) and Clarke wrested the initiative with a 101-run stand and Australia seemed poised for victory when Hinds and Gayle combined to run out Gilchrist.

On occasions the West Indies' outcricket was clumsy, but eventually Taylor bowled Michael Hussey, trapped Brett Lee leg before and bowled Hogg to take three wickets off three consecutive balls.

Taylor became the first West Indian to perform the hat-trick in one-dayers as the West Indies beat Australia by 10 runs.

THE SCORES

Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, October 18. West Indies won by 10 runs.

West Indies: W. W. Hinds c Ponting b Bracken 1; C. H. Gayle c Gilchrist b Watson 24; D. R. Smith c Hogg b Lee 8; R. R. Sarwan lbw b Clarke 21; R. S. Morton (not out) 90; B. C. Lara c Symonds b McGrath 71; C. S. Baugh c Ponting b Bracken 13; M. N. Samuels (not out) 1; Extras (lb 1, w 3, nb 1) 5; Total (for six wkts, 50 overs) 234.

Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-25, 3-47, 4-63, 5-200, 6-233.

Australia bowling: Lee 8-0-45-1; Bracken 10-1-42-2; McGrath 8-0-42-1; Watson 8-0-34-1; Clarke 5-0-18-1; Symonds 8-0-35-0; Hogg 3-0-17-0.

Australia: A. C. Gilchrist (run out) 92; S. R. Watson c Sarwan b Bradshaw 0; R. T. Ponting b Taylor 1; D. R. Martyn c Bravo b Bradshaw 17; A. Symonds b Gayle 18; M. J. Clarke c & b Bravo 47; M. K. Hussey b Taylor 13; G. B. Hogg b Taylor 10; B. Lee lbw b Taylor 0; N. W. Bracken not out 3; G. D. McGrath not out 3; Extras (lb 8, w 9, nb 3) 20; Total (for nine wkts, 50 overs) 224.

Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-17, 3-44, 4-81, 5-182, 6-206, 7-214, 8-214, 9-219.

West Indies bowling: Bradshaw 10-0-38-2; Taylor 10-0-49-4; Smith 3-0-16-0; Samuels 10-1-36-0; Gayle 10-0-39-1; Bravo 6-0-33-1; Sarwan 1-0-5-0;

ODI HAT-TRICKS

Jalal-ud-Din (Pakistan) v Australia, Hyderabad (Pakistan), 1982.

Bruce Reid (Australia) v New Zealand, Sydney, 1986.

Chetan Sharma (India) v New Zealand, Nagpur, 1987.

Wasim Akram (Pakistan) v West Indies, Sharjah, 1989.

Wasim Akram v Australia, Sharjah, 1990.

Kapil Dev (India) v Sri Lanka, Calcutta, 1991.

Aaqib Javed (Pakistan) v India, Sharjah, 1991.

Danny Morrison (New Zealand) v India, Napier, 1994.

Waqar Younis (Pakistan) v New Zealand, East London, 1994.

Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan) v Zimbabwe, Peshawar 1996.

Eddo Brandes (Zimbabwe) v England, Harare, 1997.

Anthony Stuart (Australia) v Pakistan, Melbourne, 1997.

Saqlain Mushtaq v Zimbabwe, The Oval, 1999

Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka) v Zimbabwe, Colombo, 2001.

Mohammad Sami (Pakistan) v West Indies, Sharjah, 2002.

Chaminda Vaas v Bangladesh, Pietermaritzburg, 2003.

Brett Lee (Australia) v Kenya, Durban, 2003.

James Anderson (England) v Pakistan, The Oval, 2003.

Steve Harmison (England) v India, Nottingham, 2004.

Charl Langeveldt (South Africa) v West Indies, Barbados, 2005.

Shahadat Hossain (Bangladesh) v Zimbabwe, Harare, 2006.

Jerome Taylor (West Indies) v Australia, Mumbai, 2006.