Thursday 19th October, 2006


Taylor hat-trick floors Australia

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West Indian bowler Jerome Taylor, right, gestures after claiming one of his four victims against Australia in the one day international cricket match in the ICC Champions Trophy in Mumbai, India, yesterday. (AP Photo)

Jerome Taylor snared a hat-trick to help defending champions West Indies breathe life into the ICC Champions Trophy, when they overturned World champions Australia by 10 runs in a pulsating fourth preliminary match on Wednesday at the Brabourne Stadium.

Taylor provided a sensational climax to the match, when he became the first West Indies bowler to snare a hat-trick in One-day Internationals, as the Caribbean side, successfully defended a target of 235.

The 22-year-old fast bowler removed Mike Hussey and Brett Lee with the last two balls of the 48th over, and added the scalp of Brad Hogg with the first ball of the final over, as Australia were restricted to 224 for nine from their allocation of 50 overs.

Taylor finished with four wickets for 44 runs from his allotment of 10 overs, and gained admirable support from the rest of the West Indies attack that all played a part in shaping the victory with some tight, purposeful bowling.

Runako Morton, whose undefeated 90 included seven fours and one six from 103 balls, and captain Brian Lara had set things up for West Indies with a record fifth-wicket partnership of 137.

Typically enterprising, Lara hit seven fours and two sixes in 71 from 94 balls and established a new West Indies ODI record against Australia for the fifth wicket with Morton, as West Indies reached 234 for six from their allocation of 50 overs.

Later, a back injury saw Lara give way to Ramnaresh Sarwan, his deputy, to lead the West Indies for the Australian pursuit.

Things appeared to have been going awry for Sarwan and West Indies, when Adam Gilchrist, who hit 11 fours in the top score of 92 from 120 balls, and Michael Clarke -similarly-had the opposition bowling at their mercy and victory in sight.

The Caribbean side had seen the pair carry Australia from the instability of 81 for four in the 20th over to 182 for four, when Gilchrist was run out in the 42nd over, backing up too far looking for a single, and failing to beat Wavell Hinds’ throw from backward point to Chris Gayle at the bowler's end.

Dwayne Bravo then held a smart, low return catch to remove Clarke for 47 in the 47th over, much to the delight of West Indies, who now sensed they had a chance to pull the rug from under the Aussies.

Taylor bowled Hussey, now rated the No. 1 batsmen in the World in ODIs, for 13, and gained a palpable lbw verdict over Lee next ball to leave Australia on 214 for eight, needing 21 from the last 12 balls of the match.

Bravo was entrusted with the penultimate over of the match, and conceded a mere five runs, leaving Australia needing 16 from the final over.

Taylor however, delivered a fast, straight, full-length delivery on middle stump, and Hogg stepped inside the line, tried to clip the ball to deep fine leg, and was bowled for 10 to snuff the life out of Australia’s chances.

Earlier, West Indies looked beyond redemption, when they won the toss, chose to bat, and sunk to 63 for four in the 15th over.

They suffered an early setback, when Wavell Hinds, opening the innings in place of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, was caught at second slip off Bracken for one in the fourth over.

Chanderpaul suffered a bout of food poisoning overnight, and he was not selected for the match, but it was to the fortune of West Indies that Morton took his place, and grabbed his chance with gusto.

Hinds’ departure brought Dwayne Smith to the crease. He struck a couple of sweetly-timed fours through the off-side before he was caught at square leg off Lee for eight in the seventh over.

Gayle was just getting into stride, when he edged a short, rising ball from Shane Watson and was caught behind for 24 in the 12th over, before Sarwan was lbw to Clarke for a cameo 21.

This brought Lara to the wicket. He played responsibly, and gaining solid support from Morton, he steered West Indies away from rocky waters.

Neither batsman placed a foot wrong, except when Australia captain Ricky Ponting dropped Morton on 41 at cover.

Both batsmen seemed to be eyeing a huge flourish towards the end, but Lara was afflicted with what has been diagnosed as lower back spasms, and though he struck a couple delightful balls for boundaries, he was clearly in discomfort.

The West Indies captain eventually fell to his nemesis Glenn McGrath, caught at cover slapping a short ball, leaving Morton and the bottom half of the batting to navigate the late overs.

West Indies then set back Australia, when Ian Bradshaw had Shane Watson caught at mid-off for a duck in the third over, and Taylor bowled Aussie captain Ricky Ponting for one in the fourth over.

The pressure was just beginning to slacken on Australia, when Taylor struck Damien Martyn on the helmet, and Bradshaw followed up with the knockout punch in the 11th over, when he had the batsman caught low down at cover for 17.

West Indies then found themselves on the backfoot again, when Andrew Symonds arrived and played with his usual forthright manner.

Gayle however, bowled the locksed-haired batsman, who was advancing down the pitch, only to be outfoxed with a well flight delivery.

Clarke came to the wicket and with Gilchrist got Australia back on track, but the World champions failed to carry on.

West Indies face India in their second match next Thursday in Ahmedabad; Australia next tackle arch-rivals England on Saturday at Jaipur. (CMC)





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