Williams' telling spell

FOR many he was a revelation. After the poor show at Gwalior when he sprayed the ball and looked below standard, Brad Williams came back strongly to leave a big impression on the Kiwis at Faridabad. He won the `Man of the Match' honours, and in the process raised hopes of some greater deeds in the future.

The Australian skipper, Ricky Ponting, was mighty pleased with the overall performance of the bowlers. Williams came in for special praise as he swung and seamed the ball in conditions conducive to his style. "I enjoyed the game," said Williams after his four-wicket haul stood out in Australia's comprehensive victory.

If Williams got carried away, it was understandable. The greenness of the pitch and the atmosphere encouraged the bowlers to have a go at the batsmen. It was not a placid track and that meant the bowlers were bound to try that much more. Williams was no exception.

He was guilty of spraying the ball and caused some worry for the captain, but recovered quickly to be among the wickets. His first wicket came owing to an irresponsible stroke from Lou Vincent, but the second wicket was well-planned as he induced an edge off Scott Styris' bat. Those two wickets spurred Williams who returned to bowl a much better second spell when he had to wind up the New Zealand innings.

In the absence of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee, the Australian attack obviously had lost much of its sheen and bite, but then Williams led the charge with an improved performance in Faridabad after failing to trouble the Indians at Gwalior. "I'm happy he grabbed the chance but then the bowlers need to look at the extras conceded. This is one area which they need to work on," cautioned Ponting.

Williams was guilty of bowling nine wides as he worked up pace, sacrificing direction. He was much relaxed after the first wicket and did well for himself, with support coming from left-armer Nathan Bracken and Ian Harvey. The Kiwis gave a miserable batting display and never recovered as the Australians maintained the pressure and capitalised on the two crucial dismissals effected by Williams when he snared Vincent and Styris.

"A very good prospect," said Ponting as Williams distinguished himself with a fine display of seam bowling. As for the bowler himself, he was pleasantly surprised by the change in conditions from Gwalior to Faridabad. "A good match for me," he remarked, finding it difficult to hide his joy.