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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Feeble West Indies succumb again to disciplined Australia



Australia 2/171 (26.3 ov, R Ponting 57*, S Watson 53) def West Indies 170 (39.4 ov, D Smith 43, D Bollinger 4/28) by 8 wickets: ODI#2 at Adelaide Oval. Australia lead series 2-0

Hot weather was forecast for Adelaide, and hot it was: the temperature stayed in the high 30s all day; and the wind blew hot from several directions, including the south west, which is normally from where cooler breezes blow.

I arrived early and had no difficulty getting a seat in the shade under the Moreton Bay figs. Further evidence of the temperature was given immediately after the toss (which West Indies won) when match referee Javagal Srinath strode off the ground not breaking the purposeful stride (which I recall from his days as a spearhead of India's attack) while removing his suit jacket and revealing a short sleeved shirt underneath. Wise man.

And the match itself? The result was determined quickly, if not from the first ball when Chris Gayle was lbw to Doug Bollinger, then soon after when the Windies were 4/16 (Bollinger 3/5 from 5 overs) on a good (is there any other kind?) Les Burdett pitch.

Things couldn't get any worse but they didn't get much better for the visitors either. Some of the middle order got a start and Dwayne Smith with 43/63b (only 2x4 but one straight driven 6 which landed four rows back near the sightboard - one of the longest hits I've seen at Adelaide) led a revival of sorts to 170 all out from 39.4 overs. Perhaps the calls to reduce ODIs to 40 overs a side are designed to even things up even more?

The last two WI wickets were impressive demonstrations of Australia's prowess. Ricky Ponting ran out Ravi Rampaul with a direct hit and next ball Mike Hussey ran perhaps 40 metres then dived to catch Smith.

An early finish meant a long break between innings, which seemed silly in the circumstances. But of course there were the TV schedules to consider. I expect many viewers looked elsewhere for their evening's entertainment: not many spectators augmented the thin numbers who'd braved the heat (and in some instances the overzealous security and police). Despite what many others said I thought given the weather, the one sided contest and that it was a working (and school) day, that 8,378 was not a bad attendance, even if it was the lowest ever for an ODI featuring Australia at Adelaide.

Those of us who stayed watched Australia sweep (and pull and drive) the West Indies attack aside in 26.3 overs (and 109 minutes). The visitors played like losers - there were no Ponting or Hussey moments in the field - but this doesn't detract from Shane Watson's 53/50b (2x6, 7x4) and Ponting's 57/55b (2x6, 8x4).


Scorecard





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