|HOME | WORLD CUP 99 | MATCH REPORT|
|May 27, 1999||
Windies wipe out ScotsPrem Panicker
A stylised version of the cross of St Andrew dominates their team colours -- but on a perfect Leicester batting track, it was Scotland that was nailed to the cross by some inch perfect West Indies bowling.
Well, not quite inch perfect actually -- the West Indies bowlers managed to give away nine wides and three no balls in a grand total of 68. But on the other hand, they blew away the Scot batting lineup in under 32 overs and, when it came to their own turn to bat, racked up the required runs in just 10.1 overs, aided by a run a ball 30 by Chanderpaul and a typical 25 off 17 from Brian Lara.
A 100-over game getting over inside of 43 overs would appear to strengthen the argument that the World Cup was being needlessly burdened by associate nations who just can't cut it in the company of the big boys.
However, the flip side of that argument needs a hearing as well. It's like, when you want a guy to climb a mountain, there are two ways to do it. One is to stand under him and hoist him to a higher level. The other -- and easier way -- is for the guy already above him to reach down a hand (or nylon rope, whatever) and haul him up.
This is the cricketing equivalent of that mountaineering technique -- the big boys hauling the little ones up by the scruff of their necks. On the principle that you never really learn anything by playing at your own level. It is when you go up a step, into a higher league, that you are stretched, pushed to confront your own inadequacies and into finding ways to overcome them.
So the question is, what did Scotland learn out of today's defeat? That's for them to answer, but I would think the most obvious lesson of the day was that the only thing you have to fear is fear itself.
From ball one, the Scottish batsmen, making first use of a good even paced track after skipper George Salmond won the toss and elected to bat, stayed resolutely within their crease, feet moving neither forward nor back. It seemed apparent from their play that they had psyched themselves into a state of complete panic at the prospect of those demon quicks steaming in.
The result? They stood in place, feet nailed to turf, and pushed away with the bat in the region outside off. And Ridley Jacobs kept adding to his tally -- four more caught behinds today, courtesy batsmen number one to four, and not one of them particularly difficult.
One player alone showed the fortitude to come onto the front foot from ball one -- and, no coincidence, Gavin Hamilton remained unbeaten on 24 off 43, while the chaos swirled around him.
For the West Indies, the old firm of Ambrose and Walsh between them bowled 17 overs, 5 maidens, 15 runs and five wickets. One of those times when figures tell the story -- and the subtext in this particular story is that if the West Indies do make it to the Super Six stage, a lot of fancied batting lineups are liable to get grief at their hands.
Lara, presumably with an eye on the run rate, sent out Phil Simmons and Shivnaraine Chanderpaul to open, but Simmons, an erstwhile opener, raised a lot of dust with his swipes without much to show for his efforts. Stuart Williams came out at one drop, perhaps to get some more batting practise -- what he got was his leg in front of the wicket, off the first ball he faced. At which point Lara, deciding he had had enough, walked out and with Chanderpaul flowing at the other end, quickly smashed his side past the target to register an easy win.
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