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Clarke, Ponting lift Australia
September 12, 2006 17:17 IST
Michael Clarke struck a timely half-century to propel Australia to 279 for nine against the West Indies in the first cricket one-dayer of the DLF Cup tri-series in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
Clarke, who is fighting to cement a middle-order slot, hit a strokeful 81 to sustain the tempo amidst a flurry of wickets for the Australians in the Champions Trophy tune up event at the Kinrara Oval.
Skipper Ricky Ponting found his touch with a fluent 54 while Simon Katich boosted his claims for the opener's slot with a solid 36.
Newcomer Mark Cosgrove produced a vital 34 that off-set the late order collapse.
Ian Bradshaw kept the Aussies on a leash with an economical 2-37 while Jerome Taylor reined them in the final overs with three wickets for 59.
The West Indies' seamers, however, proved to be indisciplined, conceding as many as 28 extras.
Ponting and Katich added 97 runs for the second wicket after the fall of Phil Jaques for two with only nine runs on the board.
Jaques was bowled through the gate by a Fidel Edwards delivery that seamed in after pitching at full length.
Australia captain Ponting, unnverved by the dicey pitch which saw a few balls kick off good length, struck nine boundaries on way to his half-century before left-arm seamer Bradshaw struck him in line.
Katich, tipped to take the opener's slot in the Champions Trophy squad which does not feature Hayden, did no harm to his prospects with a 69-ball 36.
The left-hander became Bradshaw's second victim in the 25th over, top edging a drive to Dwayne Bravo.
Clarke then found an able ally in the left-handed Cosgrove and the two stitched together a 69-run partnership for the fourth wicket, raising visions of a huge total.
Clarke carried on to make his 18th half-century and pushed the score past the 250-mark.
The 25-year old was bowled when he was beaten by Dwayne Bravo's slower one, and the next ball Shane Watson was bowled by a faster one from Smith at the other end.
That set the cat among the pigeons as Taylor accounted for Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Bracken -- all of them bowled -- in the space of eight balls.
The Aussies rested their senior players including Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee and Damien Martyn for the match.
Fast bowler Glenn McGrath found a place in the starting XI, marking his comeback from an eight-month break.