Lara leads shaky Windies to victory

West Indies captain Brian Lara led by example scoring 88 runs off 80 balls to help his side to a thrilling three wicket victory over Australia in the DLF tri-series in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

    Playing with a straight bat: Brian Lara leads his side to victory

    Seemingly cruising to victory at 242 for 4 and requiring just 31 runs off the last 10 overs, the West Indies crumbled to lose 3 wickets for 13 runs only for all-rounder Dwayne Bravo to hold things together at the death with a solid 37.


    Lara and opening batsman Chris Gayle did the damage early on in the innings with Gayle scoring 79 off 93 including 7 fours and 3 sixes, as the Windies chased Australia's impressive total of 272 after a middle order collapse.


    Following in the recent form of Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, Lara produced some old magic of his own as his flashy but steady innings put his side in control early in their run chase.


    Like his counterpart, stand-in Australian captain Mike Hussey also dominated the batting for his side, scoring a sensational 109 not-out off just 90 deliveries, steering his team to a competitive total with assistance from wicket-keeper Brad Haddin who contributed a fine 70 off 77 balls.


    Hussey, who went into the match averaging 77.06, came in with Australia struggling at 64 for 4 and scored his maiden one-day century which included 10 fours and 3 sixes.


    With Australia tinkering with their team ahead of next month's ICC Champions Trophy in India and Ricky Ponting taking a break, West Australian Hussey took the captaincy, won the toss and elected to bat in his first game as Australian captain.


    Mike Hussey (L) on his way to an
    unbeaten 109 off 90 deliveries

    Matthew Hayden and Simon Katich opened the batting and put on a 41 run partnership before Katich was run out on 22 triggering a mini collapse.


    All-rounder Shane Watson came in at number three but was soon on his way back to the pavilion caught Lara, bowled Jerome Taylor for 0, after which Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke were dismissed cheaply for 8 and 1 respectively, both caught off the bowling of Windies paceman Ian Bradshaw.


    This brought Hussey to the crease and with Hayden out for 49, Haddin joined the stand-in skipper to up the tempo and resurrect the Australian innings.


    The next match in the DLF Cup series is on Wednesday when the West Indies take on India at the Kinrara Academy Oval.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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