| McGrath glad to be back in the news for something good
Kingston: Skipper Ricky Ponting scored an unbeaten 57 as Australia coasted to an eight-wicket win over West Indies on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the seven-match one-day series.
The win was set up by a flawless bowling performance, spearheaded by paceman Glenn McGrath who took four wickets for 31 to help skittle West Indies out for just 163 in 49 overs on a good batting wicket.
Australia replied with 166 for two, openers Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden barely breaking sweat in a half-century stand at Sabina Park.
West Indies’ hopes were briefly revived when Gilchrist (22) was caught at deep square leg from a Corey Collymore delivery.
Ponting took the crease and initially checked the hard-hitting instincts of Hayden until the target was within closer range.
With victory in sight Ponting began using his wristy strokes to full effect, including one mighty six over the covers off the luckless Mervyn Dillon.
Hayden (51) continued to clock up runs, but was caught at the long-on boundary just one ball after reaching his half-century.
Man-of-the-match McGrath and fellow pace bowler Brett Lee had given the West Indies a lesson in tight bowling, including a stream of highly accurate yorkers.
McGrath was relieved to put in a good performance after his on-field row with West Indies’ Ramnaresh Sarwan on Monday, which was described by Australian cricket chief James Sutherland as an “ugly incident”.
“This has been a tough week, and one I’d rather forget,” McGrath said. “It was a learning experience, but I am glad to be back in the news for something good.”
Lee took two for 22 off seven overs, while Andy Bichel collected the scalps of West Indies skipper Brian Lara and dangerous opener Chris Gayle. Ricardo Powell top-scored for the hosts with 32.
Australia have won 19 consecutive one-day internationals and their last nine one-day meetings with the West Indies.
“This is something I imagine (our opponents) think about more than us, but obviously we would like to continue the winning streak a bit longer,” said Ponting.
West Indies skipper Brian Lara said his side had been let down by poor batting.
“We will keep searching for the right opening combination ... I can promise that there will be an improvement in the next game in St Lucia,” he said.
The third match in the series is in St Lucia on Wednesday.
Lawson out of series
West Indies fast bowler Jermaine Lawson will miss the remainder of the one-day series against Australia because of a persistent back injury, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) said on Monday.
Lawson missed the first two games in the seven-match series after the fourth and final Test. The Jamaican paceman’s action is under review by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after he was reported during the fourth Test.
He will now fly to Antigua and work with former West Indies strike bowler Andy Roberts.