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    May 26, 2008

    West Indies v Australia first test

    The first test between West Indies and Australia at Jamaica has been wonderful to watch/follow/catch the highlights package. A tantalizing final day's play is hopefully in store.

    Australia started poorly, but recovered as Ponting made 150 while Hodge, Hussey and Symonds chipped in to help Australia get to 431. In reply, West Indies were rescued only because of Chanderpaul's super century, with some help from Morton and Bravo. Don't forget the immense contribution from Stuart MacGill (2nd best leggie in the world, and all that): 2/100 in 22 overs.

    Then Edwards, Powell and Bravo ripped through Australia's top order, only to come up against Symonds again. In the company of Hodge and Haddin, Symonds probably turned the game decisively Australia's way, from 18/5 & 70/6 to 167. To use a favourite slogan: "When you've got Australia by the balls, you hold on. You don't let go".

    Imagine if Australia had been bowled out for something like 100! That'd have made West Indies' task so much easier. They'd have been chasing 230-odd, not the 287 that they need to make to beat Australia in a 'live' test for the first time in nine years. Remember the way that Trinidadian bugger enthralled everyone during THAT series? Statistical oddity: West Indies made 431 in their first innings in that game, the same total that Australia managed this time around.

    That said, I think Australia will win this one with around 50 runs to spare. Despite winning away, against South Africa & at home, against Sri Lanka in the last 5 months, I don't think this West Indies team knows how to nail down the advantage, especially against Australia.

    In the unlikely event that West Indies win the game, they will join India (Calcutta & Chennai in 2001, Adelaide 2003 and Perth 2008) and England (Edgbaston & Trent Bridge in 2005) as the only teams to have defeated Australia in a 'live' test match this decade.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 6:36 pm |
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