Australia vs West Indies 6th Match Benson & Hedges World Series Cup 1987 Article

Read the article of Australia vs West Indies 6th Match Benson & Hedges World Series Cup 1987 - Benson & Hedges World Series Cup one-day international tournament of the 6th ODI match played between West Indies and Australia at Adelaide Oval in 25th January 1987.

Opener Richie Richardson and Captain Viv Richards' fifties before Three-wicket hauls from Courtney Walsh and Roger Harper helped to West Indies hard-fought 16-run victory over Australia, despite a fighting innings from Geoff Marsh's 94 in a nail-bitter game of the sixth match of a Benson and Hedges World Series Cup.

West Indies scored 237-5 in 50 overs with top scorer by Richie Richardson struck 72 off 134-balls including 3-fours.

Viv Richards blasted a 69 off 64-balls including 7-fours & 2-sixes with strike rate of 107.81 and Larry Gomes scored 43 off 72-balls without a boundary.

Australia best bowler by Steve Waugh took 2-wickets and one for Simon Davis - Greg Matthews.

Australia scored 221-9 in 50 overs with top scorer by Geoff Marsh hit 94 off 137-balls - who fell three-run short of his century.

Dean Jones scored 40 off 79-balls including 3-fours, Steve Waugh 24 and Tim Zoehrer 22.

West Indies best bowler by Roger Harper, Courtney Walsh both picked up 3-wickets, Malcolm Marshall took 2-wickets and one for Joel Garner.

Geoff Marsh named Player of the match for his fighting innings of 94 off 137-balls including 3-fours & a six.

This match reported by Trevor Grant (Third Party Reference from The Age)

Having succumbed to England on Saturday for the third consecutive time in one-day cricket internationals this summer, the West Indies were summoned to an emergency meeting the same evening.

Initial reports of the unscheduled gathering suggested that insult and blame flew around the hotel room from start to finish. In truth, it was a calm, orderly analysis of an increasingly worrying situation.

The team's three major figures, captain Viv Richards, vice-captain Michael Holding and manager Steve Camacho, spoke of the need to overcome an obvious mental staleness and restore pride in performance. Other players then offered their views on how to reverse their worst slump for several seasons.

Panic was not on the agenda, as Australia discovered at the Adelaide Oval. Despite the inconsistent offerings of many of their established players, the West Indies managed to push Australia to the tailend of the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup competition with an efficient 16-run victory.

Much to the Australians' discomfort the West Indies have developed a reliable method of regaining lost momentum and confidence on this tour. As soon as they lose to England, which is suddenly a regular occurrence, they come out and whip Australia in the next match.

It happened in Perth, Melbourne and now Adelaide, leading to the suggestion that defeat is turning the West Indies from lambs to lions overnight. It might sound plausible to some, but that explanation, which is becoming more frequently heard from Australian quarters, is being used as a crutch.

It is ridiculous to believe that the West Indies walk on to the field less intense about an encounter with England than Australia. More realistically, England, riding high on victories in the Ashes and the one-day series in Perth, has lost its fear of failure which hounded it through the Caribbean at the start of 1986.

More likely, as the current WSC Cup standings indicate, Australia is the worst team in this triangular series, just as it was in the Perth challenge.

With only one victory from four matches, Australia is running out of time to prove otherwise. Defeat by England today would present it with a huge task to make the best-of-three finals in Melbourne and Sydney early next month. Nothing much happened today to dispute the observation that Australia is the genuine rabbit of the series.

The West Indies, who uncharacteristically became bogged down in the latter overs against some tight Australian bowling, managed to squeeze out 6/237 from their 50 overs after being sent in to bat on a cloudy, damp morning.
But it was always going to be enough. Even with the cloud cover and moisture gone in the afternoon, Australia once again found the West Indies attack too restrictive for its limited batting talent.

The early batsmen were so pre-occupied with preserving their wickets against the likes of Malcolm Marshall and Joel Garner that by the time they had become a little more adventurous the run-rate had reached imposing proportions.

Reliable opener Geoff Marsh, who made 94 from 137 balls to win the player-of-the-match award, provided a firm base at one end. But after the loss of No. 3 Dean Jones (40 in 79 balls) and captain Allan Border (1) in the 27th and 28th overs, Australia's hopes of recovering from 3/86 were always negligible.

Steve Waugh and Marsh fanned the embers of hope with a 72-run partnership in 12 overs for the fourth wicket. But when Waugh, one of off-spinner Roger Harper's three victims, was out in the 40th over for a neat 24, the Australians needed to score at eight an over.

That was never within reach of the remaining batsmen, none of whom, apart from Marsh, could be classified as specialists with the willow.

Although victory was always a remote consideration, the decision to use Greg Matthews ahead of the stronger hitter Simon O'Donnell, and Peter Taylor ahead of wicketkeeper Tim Zoehrer a player with a first-class century to his credit - in the final 10 overs seemed to indicate a lack of urgency about the Australian dressing room manoeuvres.

Another questionable Australian tactic has been the use of an extra bowler ahead of a batsman, just in case one of the bowlers becomes cannon fodder.

The use of two off-spinners, Taylor and Matthews, especially on a ground with such short square boundaries as Adelaide, always had a dangerous feel about it. Matthews could claim success, taking 1/34 in his 10 overs, but Taylor received his first caning since being hurled into international cricket two weeks ago.

His first five overs were treated with great respect and cost only 14 runs. But Richards, who finally found his footing again this weekend with 43 on Saturday and 69 from 64 balls today became the spoilsport who ruined the fairytale. 

The West Indies' skipper took 16 from Taylor's sixth over, including an arrogant swipe over mid-wicket which landed on the roof of the members' stand.

By the time Border retired Taylor from the attack, his figures had jumped to 0/49 from eight overs, 35 of those coming from his last 18 balls.
Taylor's place in the 11 will, no doubt, be reviewed before today's match.

While another loss today threatens to put Australia out of reach of the finals and inflict another painful blow to the Australian Cricket Board's hip pocket, this is not a time for gnashing of teeth or retri bution. Rather it is time to start to feed in one or two more players to see how they cope with exposure at international level.

As we saw in the Ashes series, this Australian team has considerable limitations. It was always unreasonable to expect this to change in a matter of days.



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