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'Taylor-Made' Windies 'Mortify' the Aussies

2006 Oct 18 by DreamCricket

Runako Morton and Jerome Taylor justify their inclusion in the team with superlative performances.

When Ian Bradshaw said, "we believe that we have the talent within this side not only to win the next game against Australia but to finish at the top of our group and progress to the semi finals," everyone doubted whether he had the will to back up his inspired utterance.

And when Brett Lee took his 250th wicket and the West Indies score read a dismal 63-4, it once again seemed that Bradshaw's optimism was misplaced.

But two replacements made sure the prophecy was not empty talk. One got West Indies' first hat-trick in ODIs by knocking down the leg-stump in the last over of the match sealing the win. And the second ended up with the 'Man of the Match' award after famously scoring a 31 ball duck in his previous outing.

Not much was expected of Runako Morton when he was included to replace a food-poisoned Chanderpaul. He ended his run-drought by hitting his first ball the last ball of the 11th over for a four. His partner Sarwan departed in the 15th over and that brought Lara in. With 34 overs remaining, the rebuilding exercise (more of a search for respectability) began in right earnest. The two kept going for just under 30 overs making 137 very sensible runs in the process. Morton remained not out on 90 and the target of 235 was the highest total ever made at Brabourne.

The stage was now set for Ian Bradshaw to walk the talk along with his mate Jerome Taylor. This they did beautifully. Bradshaw got Watson for a duck and Ponting chopped Taylor on to the stumps. Aussies went from 17 for 2 to 81 for 4 and it was Gilchrist's turn to do the rebuilding which he did as only he could. His partnership with Clarke produced just over 100 runs.

Gayle, who had been going at Clarke verbally, now got a chance to act and whipped the bails off with Gilchrist well outside.

At that stage, with Clarke and Hussey batting, and the required run rate at around 6, the match was still well balanced. Until Bravo produced a killer in the 47th over that got Clarke and slowed things down for the Aussies.

When Taylor bowled the 48th over, it still was not out of reach for the Aussies. That is when Taylor decided to switch gears and served the three blows separated by an over. And his prediction having come true, Bradshaw joined the million astrologers and holy men of India who can clearly see the future.

Aussies will now face England on Saturday. With Ashes just a month or so away, this will be one match everyone will be watching.