Vol. 5 Num 514 Mon. November 07, 2005  

Australia wallop Windies

Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken returned best Test figures to spearhead Australia to one of their biggest victories over the West Indies, winning the first cricket Test by 379 runs with a day to spare at the Gabba here Sunday.

Lee finished with 5-30 and Bracken, playing in his fourth Test match, captured 4-48 as Australia routed the Caribbean tourists for 129 off 49 overs.

The heaviest West Indian Test loss by runs to Australia was 382 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1968-69.

The Caribbean second innings capitulation recalled memories of their woeful 82 in the corresponding Test here on the last tour in 2000-01.

Australia's win was more remarkable for the inability of their two match-winning bowlers, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, to take a wicket in the second innings.

"It's not often that the two superstars Shane and Glenn don't take a wicket and it was great that (captain) Ricky Ponting gave myself and Nathan an opportunity and we tried to back up the captain," Lee said.

Man-of-the-match Ponting conceded that the West Indies did not play well, but he praised Australia's overall team performance.

Australia declared Sunday on their overnight total of 283 for two, leaving the West Indies with a record-breaking task of scoring 509 runs for victory.

They were nowhere near up to the task and capitulated once their champion batsman Brian Lara fell for 14 soon after lunch.

The West Indies dropped their last nine wickets for 76 in their downward spiral after their first innings 210 left them trailing by a massive 225 runs.

Lara's miserable run this summer continued when he was splendidly caught by Matthew Hayden in the gully off Bracken for 14 after 69 minutes at the crease.

Since arriving here last month to play for the World XI, Lara has scores of 0, 5, 0, 5, 36, 1, 30, 14 -- 91 runs at an average of 11.3.

Lara's dismissal triggered a mini-collapse. Skipper Shivnarine Chanderpaul didn't play a shot and was trapped leg before wicket by a Bracken in-swinger for seven and Ramnaresh Sarwan fell next ball, fending a Lee lifter to Adam Gilchrist for 31.

Denesh Ramdin was snapped up by Gilchrist off Lee for six to expose the mediocre West Indian tail.

Daren Powell was lbw to Bracken for a duck and Fidel Edwards was bowled with the next ball, putting the left-arm seamer on a hattrick.

Corey Collymore saw off the threat before he was lbw to Lee for four. Lee finished the innings by bowling Jermaine Lawson for a duck.

After the declaration, Lee struck first in the day's eighth over with Warne taking a brilliant catch close to the ground at first slip to dismiss first innings topscorer Devon Smith for three.

Chris Gayle enlivened morning proceedings, belting McGrath for two sixes beyond long-off during an over in which he also offered the Australian paceman a sharp return catch.

But Gayle fell to medium-pacer Shane Watson in the 18th over as he fended a short-pitched delivery to Warne at first slip for 33.

Watson later fell heavily on his left shoulder in preventing a boundary and was taken from the field for scans, putting him in doubt for the second Test starting in Hobart on November 17.

The series heads now to Hobart's Bellerive Oval for the second Test getting underway on November 17.

Australia speedster Brett Lee appeals successfully for an lbw decision against Corey Collymore of the West Indies on the 4th day of the first Test on Sunday. PHOTO: AFP