Tuesday, Nov 04, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By G. Viswanath
Australia's Brad Williams appeals successfully for a leg before decision against New Zealand's Chris Nevin in their TVS Cup match at the Nehru Stadium on Monday. Williams, who claimed five wickets, was adjudged the Man of the Match.
A combination of factors inflicted intense pressure upon the World champion right through the course of the afternoon session when New Zealand rocked its boat. Finally Australia prevailed over the Black Caps when the match moved forward to the hit-and-miss stage.
Fortune favoured the brave with Andy Symonds' straight down the ground hitting fetched his side crucial runs and secured the match, although the winning run actually was the result of a dropped catch by Scott Styris, at mid-wicket off Jacob Oram, in the penultimate delivery of the match.
Australia has the knack of making its own luck. It appeared that it was stretching it too far in the last over of the day.
But first wicket-keeper Brendan McCullum spilled a catch of Williams, the resultant single bring the teams level at 258.
Earlier, as long as Michael Clarke and Michael Bevan were in the middle Australia seemed to be in command. But it's top order seemed as vulnerable as any when set a stiff target of 259.
Thanks to some clean and bold hitting by Oram and McCullum, New Zealand was not only able to stage a splendid recovery after an early collapse against Williams but also post sufficient runs on the board and search for its first victory in the series.
Australia let events go out of control after Williams had ripped through the Kiwi top order. A repeat of the Faridabad rout looked in store when New Zealand was 68 for five.
But Stephen Fleming showed unflinching temperament for two and half hours and the lower order helped to double the score from 129 for 6 in the 30th over.
The conditions mainly the surface were tailor-made for the likes of Nathan Bracken and Williams. Heavy moisture in the pitch influenced Ricky Ponting to invite the opposition to bat. The left-arm seamer Bracken beat the bat often and Williams trapped Chris Nevin leg before sending back three more batsmen in 16 deliveries. The New Zealand batsmen were all at sea, but not its captain.
Fleming played some brilliant drives and flicks in his 40. He was not in command but consumed enough time to make sure that his team was not shot out for a meagre score again.
After the first ninety minutes of the match, and as predicted by curator Chandu Borde, the surface became normal and offered no assistance to the seamers. Chris Cairns, Oram and McCullum hit through the line without fear and contributed 129 runs.
McCullum's two scoop shots to the fine leg off Bracken just about illustrated the slowness of the pitch that still afforded bounce.
When the Australian chase began, Daryl Tuffey provided the breaks and Styris sent Ponting's middle stump flying before Clarke and Bevan got down to the business of retrieving the innings.
Clarke scratched around for a while before playing some sparkling shots, coming down the pitch to tackle Daniel Vettori.
Australia was always within reach of the target, but after Clarke and Bevan departed, the fortune swung back in New Zealand's favour. In the end the big blows by Ian Harvey and Symonds helped Australia cover much ground after the asking rate had climbed to ten plus an over.
But what finally mattered was a bit of luck and riding on it, Australia eked out a narrow victory to lead the table with 18 points.
The Black Caps won many admirers, and was ready to leave Pune adding one point to the three it gained from the unfinished match at Chennai and with Cairns probably aggravating his hamstring.
Williams was declared the `Man of the Match'.
Australia bowling: Bracken 10-3-39-0 (w-6), Williams 10-1-53-5 (w-9), Bichel 9-0-59-1 (w-9, nb-1), Harvey 9-1-33-1, Symonds 10-2-56-2, Clarke 2-0-14-0.
New Zealand bowling: Tuffey 10-2-30-4 (w-3), Oram 9.5-0-65-0 (w-3), Cairns 10-0-48-1 (w-1), Styris 7-1-31-1, Vettori 8-0-59-2 (nb-1), Harris 5-0-24-0.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of