|Scorecard:||Australia v West Indies|
|Player:||PT Collins, B Lee, S Hofmeyr, JN Gillespie, GD McGrath|
DateLine: 26th January 2005
The West Indies started like a tornado but ended in the doldrums once again, petering out to a 73-run loss to Australia in the tri-series one-day international at the Adelaide Oval.
Australia scored 269 for 8 off 50 overs before dismissing the West Indies for 196 off just 44.5 overs in reply here on Wednesday.
The Australians, celebrating their national day, showed plenty of character in a backs-to-the-wall innings which saw bowler Brett Lee and tailender Jason Gillespie put on a crucial 73-run partnership for the ninth wicket when their side was floundering at 196 for 8.
Their nemesis had been left-arm quick Pedro Collins, who had removed much of the Australian top order to finish with career best one-day figures of 5-43 off 10 overs.
At one stage Collins took four wickets from 16 deliveries and the Australians seemed headed for a humiliating total on an excellent batting wicket.
But Simon Katich led the Australian fightback with a solid 76 from 86 deliveries.
Katich, aided by contributions of 31 from Andrew Symonds and 32 from wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, helped carry the home team before pace bowlers Lee and Gillespie weaved their magic with the bat to add the morale-destroying runs.
Not content with their cameos with the bat Lee and Gillespie also took the bowling honours for Australia, the former earning man-of the match when he claimed 4-38 off 10 overs.
Gillespie was slightly less succesful with 2-25 off 6.5 overs.
"It was a great day. The Australians played very well," Lee said.
"I love playing for Australia, especially on Australia Day."
Lee, who showed far more control with his bowling than usual, said he had honed his skills by spending hours in the training nets.
The renowned quick was twice on a hat-trick, the first after removing opener Wavell Hinds for a duck with the last ball of the opening over and Chris Gayle for two with the first ball of his next.
Gayle's dismissal was completed by a brilliant one-handed catch by Haddin diving to his right, after he gloved a short ball down the leg-side.
That took the visitors to three for two and Shivnarine Chanderpaul narrowly survived Lee's first hat-trick ball after a big appeal for lbw.
Chanderpaul with 55 and Ramnaresh Sarwan who made 39, steadied the West Indies with a 92-run third-wicket stand, before spinner Brad Hogg removed Sarwan.
Chanderpaul was run out in the 29th over, after calling for a runner late in his innings.
The runner, Wavell Hinds, was trapped well short of his ground by a direct hit from Michael Clarke fielding at point.
Marlon Samuels then fell to Darren Lehmann, leaving the Windies at 147 for 5 in the 36th over and all their hopes resting on skipper Brian Lara.
But Lara, trying to boost the run-rate, fell foul of Lee while on 29 after top-edging him skywards to be caught and bowled.
Lee then trapped Courtney Browne leg before with a yorker and his golden duck left the Windies in deep trouble at 153 for 7 and Lee with another hat-trick opportunity.
Again, he came close, striking Ian Bradshaw on the pads with a full delivery, which umpire Steve Davis ruled was missing leg stump.
The win means Australia stays undefeated in the series while the West Indies, yet to record a victory, now face Pakistan in Adelaide on Friday.
Both teams are vying for the right to play Australia in the best of three finals.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)