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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Australia too strong for W Indies; S Africa just scrape through against Sri Lanka

Australia's attack was too good for the West Indies batters, Brian Lara and Dinesh Ramdin excepted, when play resumed on the reserve day of the Super Eight match at Antigua. Shiv Chanderpaul may have been unlucky to be given out l b w to Shaun Tait for 5 (though IMO Hawkeye's projection of the ball missing off stump overstated the case), but the next two wickets fell to the veteran first change bowler Glenn McGrath, and suddenly the home team were 3/20. Only a huge innings from Lara could get them out of that hole. He looked good but 156 he was l b w to Brad Hogg, who again bowled well, for 77/83b.


The other game, at the new Providence Stadium in Guyana, ended in a tight finish as Lasith Malinga, who had previously been punished to the tune of a run a ball, took four wickets in four balls to take Sri Lanka to the brink of victory. An edged boundary gave South Africa, who seemed to be heading for a win after good batting from Smith 59/65b and Kallis 86/110b, scraped through to win by one wicket with 10 balls remaining.

The Sri Lankan batting disappointed. Sanith Jayasuriya's characteristically ebullient 26/27b at the start of the innings started the ball rolling, but wickets fell before
Tillerkaratne Dilshan 50/76b and Russell Arnold 50/73b took the score from 5/98 to 6/195 in a retatively leisurely 21.4 overs. The South African attack (Shaun Pollock excepted) was refreshed, and Charl Langeveldt (who must have been fortunate to keep his place after going for 82 in 10 overs against Australia) did a Lazarus and took 5/39: the first five wicket haul of the tournament.

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