Rain ruins Windies hopes

SYDNEY:West Indies’ hopes of gaining a foothold in the one-day series against Australia were ruined by bad weather here today.

The tourists bowled out Australia for 225 but faced only one over in reply, reaching 6-0, before persistent rain prevented a result.

Ravi Rampaul (4-61) and Dwayne Smith (3-45) were the pick of the West Indies attack at the SCG. Michael Clarke top-scored for Australia with 46, while Ryan Harris’s 21 from nine balls ensured the hosts reached a respectable total.

West Indies benefitted from four byes and two wides in reply as Doug Bollinger tried too hard to capture the wicket of Chris Gayle for the third time in as many matches.

Windies skipper Gayle won the toss and put Australia to bat first, a decision vindicated when Tim Paine became the first man out, bowled for 16 as he played across the line to Rampaul.

He was soon joined in the pavilion by fellow opener Adam Voges, out for eight to a contentious lbw decision off Smith’s bowling. Ricky Ponting and Clarke’s 48-run stand steadied the Australian ship before Ponting edged Sammy onto his middle stump and departed for 22.

Cameron White was the next man to go after an unconvincing 17, but after a brief rain interlude, Michael Hussey (44) and James Hopes (30) propelled the Australians towards 200. But they fell within four runs of each other, and were quickly followed by Nathan Hauritz (three) and Mitchell Johnson (one) before Harris brought the crowd to their feet with some massive hitting in the final over.

He smashed three consecutive fours off Rampaul before sending the fourth ball over the fence. His innings ended next ball, however, when he holed out to Kieron Pollard at long on.