Aussies too good for Windies

Kuala Lumpur, September 12 :

Australia returned to international cricket with a bang on Tuesday, sparking an embarrassing West Indies batting collapse to win their opening DLF Cup one-dayer here by 78 runs.

Set 280 to win, the West Indies looked to be cruising with Shivnarine Chanderpaul smashing a majestic 92 before it all went badly wrong. Making the most of some hapless early bowling from a rusty Australia, the left-hander cracked four sixes and 10 fours, putting together a partnership of 136 with Chris Gayle (58).

But once he went, the West Indies lost their backbone. They lost nine wickets for 29 runs. Shane Watson took 4-42 while Glenn McGrath ended with 1-30. Half-centuries from Michael Clarke (81) and Ricky Ponting (54) had earlier led their team to 279-9. Clarke brought up his 18th 50 off 57 balls.

Ponting, who won the toss and opted to bat, hit a brisk 54 at more than a run a ball, striking nine fours in a 97-run partnership with Simon Katich. West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor took 3-59 with Ian Bradshaw and Dwayne Smith snaring two wickets apiece. Fidel Edwards and Dwayne Bravo chipped in with one apiece.

The tri-series also features India, who will play their first match against the West Indies on Thursday.