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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Aust win easily, NZ less so

At the Gabba Australia easily defeated the West Indies in three days by an innings and 80 runs: 8/480 dec to 228 and 187. For the visitors only the little known debutant Adrian Barath enhanced his reputation with 104/138b (19x4) in the disappointing follow on.

The Australians, Shane Watson with the bat excepted, batted and bowled well (Watson redeemed himself with the ball) and Ricky Ponting led the team well. His declaration and enforcement of the follow on were bolder moves than we normally expect from him, but the result confirmed the accuracy and shrewdness of his assessment.

What can the West Indies do to improve? For starters (Barath excepted), bat better. Shivnarine Chanderpaul's brace of 2s was well below par while many (including me) will be hoping that Ramnaresh Sarwan will be fit for T2. And then? Field and bowl better. Stating the obvious? Yes, but after watching a fair amount of Windies Test cricket on TV in the last year or so, I'm modestly confident that this result will sting the present team's collective pride sufficently to produce a more resolute performance here in Adelaide.

At Dunedin New Zealand 429 and 153 defeated Pakistan 332 and 218 by 32 runs in a match which lasted, with some weather interruptions, for almost five full days. I didn't get to see any of the last day's play live, and Foxtel didn't show any highlights, which was a pity given the closeness of the contest. I wonder however to what extent this match, played in southerly Dunedin, and the rest of the three match series, scheduled for small grounds, will provide good preparation for Pakistan's tour of Australia. Are good pitches at Wellington and Napier and reasonable weather too much to hope for?
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