Tue, May 27, 2003 - Page 19 News List

W Indies captain hits 80 on strong Australian team


West Indies captain Brian Lara hit a brilliant 80 on Sunday in front of 25,000 cheering countrymen as his team finally broke Australia's record winning streak with a commanding 39-run victory in the fifth one-day cricket international.

Australia, whose run of success was ended at 21 matches, leads the seven-match Cable & Wireless series 4-1.

Man of the Match Lara and fellow left-hander Wavell Hinds (79) set the foundations for the home team with a second wicket stand of 178 that set up their mammoth total of 290 for five off 50 overs.

New ball pair Corey Collymore and Mervyn Dillon shared five wickets and the part-time spinners supported well as Australia's pursuit fell short at 251 for nine.

Collymore, who removed both openers early, took two for 25 off eight overs. Trinidadian Dillon claimed Aussie captain Ricky Ponting, in-form Michael Clarke and Michael Bevan to end with three for 40 off nine overs.

Off-spinner Marlon Samuels' two for 48 off 10 overs included the vital wicket of topscorer Andrew Symonds (77).

"They played well today," Australia captain Ricky Ponting said after the defeat ended his side's winning sequence. ``We knew it was going to end sooner or later, but we were hoping it wasn't going to be sooner.''

The world champion Australians' previous loss was to Sri Lanka in Sydney on Jan. 9.

Australia started well after Lara won the toss, pace ace Brett Lee trapping Chris Gayle plumb leg before at five for one.

Lara's entrance at No. 3 for the first time in the series set off the usual standing ovation and flag waving by his hometown fans. He and Hinds gradually saw off the threat of the new ball before breaking loose once they were set. The 34-year-old Lara was initially the aggressor, posting his fifty off 66 deliveries with eight fours. Hinds took 82 balls for his landmark, with six fours, but accelerated with two more boundaries and two huge sixes after that.

The 26-year-old Jamaican eventually fell to the expensive Andy Bichel when he snicked a catch to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist after 102 balls.

Lara followed nine runs later, also to Bichel. It was the seventh time in 12 innings on this Caribbean tour that the Queenslander has claimed the star left-hander.

The Trinidadian stroked 10 fours off 101 balls.

Two 22-year-olds, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Marlon Samuels, ensured that there would be no late-overs meltdown.

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