West Indies triumph again

 

RICHIE RICHARDSON made a timely return to form in Brisbane yesterday, making an outstanding 81 as West Indies beat Australia by 14 runs in their World Series cricket match at The Gabba.

The West Indies skipper, who has struggled for runs so far on the tour, produced a vintage display of stroke play that helped lift his side to 231 all out from 49.3 overs.

In reply, Australia were dismissed for 217 with 14 balls remaining, as Ottis Gibson claimed the wickets of Ian Healy and Craig McDermott with successive balls.

Gibson was engulfed by jubilant team-mates after shattering McDermott's stumps to the dismay of a capacity crowd of 21,632. It was the tourists' third win in five days.

Gibson, who claimed two for 38 from 5.4 erratic overs, made an even more telling contribution with the bat, though, hammering 52 off 40 balls to ensure West Indies capitalised on Richardson's two-hour innings.

The captain eventually fell in the 40th over when he drove a low catch to Michael Bevan in the covers to give all-rounder Stuart Law his only wicket.

But the veteran right-hander's resurgence in scoring his first half-century in seven World Series innings failed to mask an otherwise indisciplined display by his fellow top order batsmen.

Gibson rescued the innings by smashing two sixes and four fours before being howled by all-rounder Shane Lee.

Australia middle order batsmen Ricky Ponting and Stuart Law scored 61 and 62 respectively to lift their side's hopes.

The pair added 115 runs for the fourth wicket before Ponting fell to a rash pull shot, lofting a simple catch to Roger Harper at mid-on off Ian Bishop.

When Law was brilliantly caught and bowled by Phil Simmons nine overs later, Australia's hopes of victory fell.

"It is never easy to beat Australia so you enjoy any victory against them," said Richardson.

"I am not a person to celebrate until the end and I don't want anyone to get carried away because we have still a lot of work to do to reach the World Series final," he added.