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West Indies suffer heavy defeat

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November 06, 2005 14:51 IST

Australia crushed West Indies by 379 runs with a day to spare in the first Test at the Gabba on Sunday, condemning the tourists to one of their heaviest defeats.

Ricky Ponting's men wrapped up an emphatic victory before tea on the fourth day when the once-mighty West Indians collapsed to be all out for 129 in their second innings.

"We played very well this week and it was a good team performance," a jubiliant Ponting said.

"But I'm not sure if the West Indies played as well as they can. We probably expected a little bit more."

The tourists were set a near-impossible 509 to win when Ponting declared overnight but failed to mount any sort of challenge, losing their last eight wickets for just 44 runs to be bowled out in 49 overs.

"Everybody came into this game full of confidence, everybody expected us to do well and everybody's disappointed with our performance," West Indian captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul said.

"On a good batting wicket with our batting line-up, we should have got some more runs on the board."

Australia's express paceman Brett Lee demolished the West Indian lower-order to capture career-best figures of five for 30 while left-arm seamer Nathan Bracken grabbed 4-48 including the prize scalp of master batsman Brian Lara for 14.

All-rounder Shane Watson also collected a wicket before injuring his shoulder in the field, jeopardising his chances of playing in the second of the three-Test series starting at Hobart on November 17.

"After coming back from England and losing the Ashes, we had to address a lot of areas that were not so good in our game and I think we've done that," Ponting said.

"But if complacency crept into this team after what a lot of the guys have been through in the last couple of months, then I'd be pretty disappointed."


The biggest surprise on Sunday was that Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath both failed to get a wicket after sharing nine in the first innings. It was the first time in the 94 Tests they've played together that both have missed out in a completed innings.

Warne only bowled two overs in the innings while McGrath was twice smashed for six by Chris Gayle, who top-scored for the visitors with an adventurous 33.

The only other West Indian to make at least 20 was Ramnaresh Sarwan who batted almost three hours for a patient 31.

The visitors never had any real hope of winning once the Australians aborted their second innings before the resumption of play with man of the match Ponting on 104 and Michael Clarke 14.

Their best chance of salvaging a draw was to survive long enough for the weather to save them, but their resistance crumbled in less than two sessions.

"Hopefully all these things will change and we can get it right next time," Chanderpaul said.

"The guys just have to keep their heads up because we know we can do it."

The innings got off to a terrible start when they lost Devon Smith for three then Gayle, both caught by Warne at first slip, to limp to lunch on 78-2 and only got worse in the middle session.

Lara departed shortly after the restart, caught in the gully by Matthew Hayden, triggering the collapse.

Bracken was on a hat-trick after dismissing Daren Powell and Fidel Edwards in successive balls but Lee polished off the tail to complete only the fifth five-wicket haul of his Test career.

Julian Linden
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