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Tuesday, December 08, 2009


West Indies 451 and 317 (99.5 ov, C Gayle 165*, M Johnson 5/103) drew with Australia 439 and 5/212 (76 ov): T2 D5 at Adelaide Oval.

It wasn't unexpected (see my comments re D4) that the West Indies didn't declare overnight, nor that Chris Gayle carried his bat for 165*/285b (1x6, 16x4) out of 317.

It was unexpected that neither of the two best West Indian bowlers took a wicket as Australia chased ... well occasionally thought about chasing... 330 from 80 overs. The Adelaide pitch, which has developed a reputation for producing D5 results this time didn't give the bowlers the assistance they and most commentators expected.

A few reflections

Australia showed that some of the cracks which were exposed during the Ashes have only been papered over. The batting on paper looks solid, though IMO anyone who'd seen Hussey's 41 in the first innings (not just the highlights) you'd be questioning his long - or short - term future, so scratchy was he.

The Australian "spin" bowling is also deficient: Hauritz and North are steady rather than penetrating. As for the quicks. Johnson is inconsistently mercurial (is that a tautology?), and Siddle an honest trundler, though Bollinger looked good here even if his petulance needs to be reined in.

Not that the Windies should be complacent: IMO Benn is less of a threat then he's depicted to be. While he obtained some good bounce (not surprising for such a tall guy) and occasional turn he usually bowls at least one bad (short) ball an over. Roach is a good prospect, Bravo a good allrounder (including being a great asset in the field). The batting is sufficiently strong to post competitive totals with the aid of the tail (Nash showed how to do this in the first innings) though Sarwan needs a big innings.

As for the umpiring, Asad Rauf's howler in giving Chanderpaul out was 5 star incompetence. Benson's response (if most of what's been reported is not too far from the truth) was 5 star dummy spit. Doesn't the principle that you should always accept the umpire's decision apply to the umpires themselves?

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