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The demise of the Calypso kings
May 04, 2005 20:31 IST
Last Updated: May 04, 2005 20:54 IST
Since the series loss to Australia in 1995 - their first in 16 years � West Indies cricket witnessed a decline.
A look at the Tests that ended the Calypso kings' reign as unofficial World champions.
Australia's pace bowlers shared 15 wickets between them as the West Indies batsmen failed to get going in both innings. Brian Lara (65) and Carl Hooper (60) helped the home team recover from 3 for 6 to 130 before Hooper was dismissed by Brendon Julian. Another collapse ensued and the Windies folded up for 195.
In reply, all the Australian batsmen contributed to help the team reach 346, with Ian Healy top-scoring with 74. The expected West Indies fightback never came and the hosts were bundled out for 189 in the second innings. Glenn McGrath was adjudged man-of-the-match after finishing with figures of 8-114.
The West Indian pace attack was still powerful. Curtley Ambrose and Courtney Walsh were ably backed up by Winston and Kenny Benjamin. In the first innings a superb 6-wicket spell from Walsh saw Australia being dismissed for 216 in 68.3 overs. That meant the West Indies were primed to drive home the advantage. But the Australian bowlers had other ideas. With the exception of a 102-ball 88, the highest score in the series so far, by Brian Lara, none of the other batsmen could put together a big innings as the Windies were bowled out for 260.
David Boon (67), Mark Waugh (61) and Steve Waugh (65 not out) batted well to nullify the WI advantage as Australia declared on 300 for 7 in their second innings. West Indies made it to 80 for 2 before the match was declared a draw.
A moist green pitch greeted the teams at Port of Spain and it was livened up even more by rain on the day 1. Michael Slater (0), Taylor (2) and Mark Waugh (2) were back in the dressing room in the first nine overs of the game. This is the game that is best remembered for Curtly Ambrose's single-handed destruction of Australia. The lanky fast bowler had taken only three wickets in the first two Tests and there were indications that he might be dropped to give him time to recover his form. The criticism hit home and Ambrose responded with a devastating spell of nine for 65.
The West Indies were in no mood to give up the Frank Worrel trophy easily. The pitch came in for criticism from both the captains.
A pulsating run-a-minute century stand between Richie Richardson and Brian Lara was followed by a collapse that saw the West Indies lose nine wickets for 162 and be bowled out for just 265. Australia responded with a 231-run partnership between Mark (126) and Steve Waugh (200) in just under four hours to gain a match-winning lead worth 266 runs.
The West Indies, cricket`s unofficial world champions, were on their last leg. Some brilliance from Lara and Richardson was needed; instead, the West Indies succumbed to a numbing defeat. It was the home team's first innings defeat since January 1985 and its first at home since March 1958. The West Indies' reign was as World champions was over.