West Indies beat world champs by three wickets

ST GEORGE’S (Grenada): Opener Wavell Hinds scored a career-best 125 not out to guide West Indies to a three-wicket win over world champions Australia in their one-day international match on Friday. 

West Indies, chasing Australia’s 252 all out, won in 48.4 overs to reduce their deficit in the seven-match series to 4-2 with one game to play. 

“Wavell played a fantastic innings but we never really nailed any partnerships,” Australia captain Ricky Ponting said. 

Hinds put on a 114-run third-wicket stand with Ramnaresh Sarwan (50) after Brian Lara had fallen cheaply only for Australia to hit back and put the home side under pressure again. 

West Indies' Brian Lara (centre) hugs Marlon Samuels after Lara had made the throw to Samuels to run out Ricky Ponting of Australia during their one-day international in Grenada on Friday. On the right is Corey Collymre. -- APpic

The 26-year old opener hammered six sixes – five of which were to his favoured long-on slot and five boundaries – preying mainly on the Australian spin bowlers. 

He survived a scare at the half-century point when Brett Lee spurned a catching opportunity at long-on, inadvertently helping the ball over the boundary for another six in the process. 

Lee returned to the attack in the 40th over, Sarwan driving his first delivery to the covers where Andrew Symonds took a low diving catch to make it 181 for three. 

Two balls later, Lee clean-bowled Marlon Samuels for a duck and Ricardo Powell then scored a single before getting his legs in a tangle and chipping back a return catch to Darren Lehmann. 

It was 213 for six when Ridley Jacobs fell to Andy Bichel but Hinds coolly steered the home team to victory by scoring only his second one-day international century in 74 matches. 

It was Australia’s second defeat in a row. 

Ponting dismissed any suggestions that the world champions were easing off after already clinching the series.  

“I don’t think there’s any slacking off. Wavell played one of the best innings he’s probably played in international cricket today and that was the difference between the two sides,” he said.  

Brian Lara promised that the West Indies would battle to inflict a third successive defeat on the world champions in the final game today.  

“Confidence is good and fans’ expectations are rising. It is important that we maintain our standards now to ensure that we do well in the Sri Lanka series that begins next month,” he said. – Reuters 

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