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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Clark bowls Australia to victory

Australia 431 and 167 defeated West Indies 312 and 191 (S Clark 5/32) by 95 runs. First Test Day 5 at Sabina Park, Jamaica.

Thanks chiefly to a sustained display of probing and often penetrative bowling by Stuart Clark Australia won by a margin greater than I'd predicted and gained time to regroup for the next two Tests.

The regrouping will need to be mental as well as physical as the Windies have shown that, in contrast to the New Zealanders in England, they have a tenacious approach to their game which has been lacking for some years. Bowlers such as Fidel Edwards and Daren Powell who looked ordinary in Australia only a couple of years ago are now much more challenging propositions.

Both sides still have weaknesses: opening batting and spin bowling spring to mind but whether the Windies are able to lift further (if Chris Gayle and Jerome Taylor return for the Second Test this will help) is a moot point. Not that Australia can be complacent: the second innings collapse to 5/18 showed the brittleness of the batting, while the bowling and fielding lacked consistency.

More low sleep nights beckon as the Second Test begins this weekend in Antigua.


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