Calypso fire.. ICC Champions Trophy, Oct 18,’06

West Indies defeated world champions Australia and pulled a surprise of sorts! The team with a good number of youngsters and bereft of Chanderpaul’s services made the best of the conditions and got the basics right.

Winning the toss was key and Brian Lara made sure that he made the most of it by opting to bat. The Windies batsmen again proved their vulnerability to some good Australian bowling and were four wickets down by the 15 over. Then it was left to the seasoned campaigner Brian Lara and a beleagured Runako Morton to steer the ship from danger. They weathered the storm well and ensured that a respectable total was posted on the board.

One could say that the Australians flexibility with regard to their batting order proved to be a cause of concern for them as they seemed unsure about who should bat where. Watson opened the batting and departed without contributing to the score. But the prize catch for the Windies was the wicket of captain Ponting which I feel turned on the screws on the Australians!

After that it got tougher and tougher with the passage of every over and eventually the Aussies collapsed, thanks to some good bowling at the death by Bravo and Taylor. The batsmen counsumed too many balls and failed to keep the score board ticking with regular singles.

An intersting feature of the match was an animated Chris Gayle and his little brickbat with Michael Clarke! The usually calm and serene batsman keep talking and making gestures on the field to Michael Clarke in a bid to unsettle him. Although Clarke seemed undeterred with the whole drama, the audience got to see the other side of Chris Gayle!

Just as Pakistan held its nerves against the Lankans on Wednesday, the Windies too didn’t get ruffled with their performance and eventually won the game.

A well fought contest, it was won by the team that performed better on that day!…