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Australia humiliate WI, lift DLF Cup

india Updated: Sep 25, 2006 03:26 IST
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An impeccable bowling performance by Australia aided by a maniacal batting collapse saw West Indies suffer an embarrassing loss at the hands of world champions in the final of the DLF Cup on Sunday.

Set a relatively easy target of chasing 240 runs, West Indies' batsmen faltered badly in the 'winner-takes-all' contest, succumbing to a lowly 113 in 34.2 overs.

Man-of-the match Brett Lee in his deja-vu spell wrecked the West Indies batting line-up, as he did against India, taking four crucial wickets. Watson played the support role scalping three and hastening the win in process.

West Indies' prospects of hunting down the target crashed to the ground at the start itself, in face of the deadly trio of McGrath, Lee and Bracken.

While the veteran bowler, kept the runs firmly under control, Lee and Bracken exploited the wearied pitch to toy with the hopping Windies batters.

Gayle, Chanderpaul and Morton all perished inside the first powerplay handing the advantage to Australia in the all-important clash.

Morton's knock, in fact defied description since he was not able to score a single run in his 31-ball knock.

Thereafter, West Indies' batting mainstay - Brian Lara - took up the cudgels, looking to do the rescue act for his side yet again. He rocketed the red cherry to the boundary fence to get off the mark, but 4 balls later departed in controversial style to plunge Windies into a calamitious position.

Bracken's delivery jagged back into the WI skipper to nip the pad and carry to the wicket-keeper's gloves. But the umpire promptly raised his finger to signal the demise of the batsman's innings.

Facing a required run-rate of more than six runs per over with just four wickets in hand, Sarwan and Smith counterpunched the Aussie pace-attack spectacularly.

The duo looked to stem the regular wicket-fall, by bludgeoning every ball rather than killing it with their bat. The scoreboard ticked at a rapid pace moving from 56/6 to 104/6 between 20 and 30 overs.

However, Sarwan soon got run-out in a mix-up with Smith just as the partnership was looking to put WI back in reckoning, much to the frustration of Ponting. Smith, having lost his partner, lost motivation too and soon followed him back.

Rest of the batting line-up fidgeted for a while, but could only delay the inevitable.

Windies innings

West Indies bowlers made good use of a worn-out Kinrara Oval pitch to restrict the strong Aussie batting line-up to a modest total in the final of DLF Cup on Sunday.

The Aussie side packed with potent batters for the 'winner-takes-all' contest, struggled throughout the innings, finally ending up with 240 runs in its stipulated quota of 50 overs.

Symonds-Martyn combine for the 3rd wicket was the saving grace for Australia. Both played contrasting knocks, but ended with the same score of 52 to provide a platform of sorts for stroke-makers lower down the order.

Hussey picked up the baton and provided a 30-run flourish at the end to ensure that the world champions at least crossed the 200-run mark.

After Ponting won the toss and elected to bat early on in the innings, Windies pacers - Ian Bradshaw and Dwayne Smith - bowled stump-to-stump, frustrating the openers and putting them on the backfoot.

With stroke-making a tad difficult on a slow pitch, Katich and Watson failed to negotiate the bowlers and were soon dismissed at a low score, well inside the powerplay overs.

Ponting fell next, not being able to adjust to the conditions. Thereafter, Martyn took up the cudgels of salvaging the side from possible embarrassment. Symonds joined him in his pursuit and managed to steady the rocking Oz ship.

However, the scoring rate remained dismally low and at the 35th over mark, the scoreboard read a meagre 121/3. Aussie innings, it seemed, would clamber to reach even 200.

Realizing the enormity of the task at hand, the duo quickened the pace and soon started to flash their blades against the Windies' second line of attack.

The duo smashed their fifties and were dismissed soon enough, but their up-tempo game continued. Hussey, Clarke and Haddin ran roit in the last few overs to lift the side to a modest total.

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