Chaotic Tie in Georgetown|
Rick Eyre - 21 April 1999
One ball left in the match. Keith Arthurton to bowl to Steve Waugh. Australia need four runs for victory, three runs to tie. Two runs or less means a West Indian victory.
Waugh hits to mid wicket. It appears obvious that it won't reach the boundary. The crowd start streaming onto the ground, even as the shot is played.
Waugh and batting partner Shane Warne run two. They go for three. The throng of the crowd makes it impossible for the batsmen to complete their run. The stumps at the striker's end disappear, stolen by the fans. Meanwhile, at the bowler's end, Arthurton has broken the wicket, apparently while Warne is out of his ground.
West Indies win the match by one run... or do they?
A match that nearly didn't start, delayed because of rain till 3pm and then played thirty overs a side. The only international match played at the Bourda ground, Georgetown, Guyana this season, and played before a packed house. The fifth one-day international between the West Indies and Australia ended in such chaotic crowd scenes that match referee Raman Subba Row decided to view the video of the final ball in consultation with the two captains and the three umpires before declaring a result.
An hour later, Subba Row announced the result: It was a tie.
Replays showed that Arthurton broke the wicket when Warne was in his ground at the completion of his second run. Once the batsman went for their third run, Arthurton could only effect a run out at his end if he removed a stump from the ground with the ball in his hand. Unfortunately the spectators removed the stumps before he did.
Subba Row, in explaining his decision on television, said it was a difficult decision to reach but that ``common sense must prevail'' and ``cricket had to be the winner''.
The pitch invasion was the second of the afternoon. At the end of the penultimate (29th) over of the Australian innings, some ``fans'' ran onto the field and stole some stumps, which were recovered by the police. Ground security proved to be woefully inadequate as the pitch invasion one over later was much worse. Steve Waugh almost had his bat wrenched from his hands as he was fleeing the ground. He later said that he had received whiplash after being charged at by one spectator, and had been the subject of verbal threats from others. Subba Row held back the announcement of the result until the players had safely left the ground for their hotel.
For Subba Row there was an element of deja vu. At the same ground in 1993 he declared a tie in a one-day match between Pakistan and the West Indies after similar crowd scenes accompanying the final ball.
As for the rest of yesterday's match, it was a frantic high-scoring affair with both sides achieving nearly a run a ball, the boundaries shortened to avoid the damp perimeters of the outfield. Steve Waugh again! - won the toss and sent WI into bat.
The opening partnership raised 83 in 14.3 overs before Shane Lee struck twice in three balls, removing Campbell (41) and Jacobs (33). Adams (7), captaining in place of injured Brian Lara, was the next go, followed by Hooper (8), both victims of Shane Warne. Chanderpaul (27) was Lee's third victim, before Williams (30*) and Simmons (15*) carried the total through to 173 for 5 after the thirty overs allowed. Simmons faced just five balls for his 15, smashing two sixes off Lee.
Australia's response started poorly as Mark Waugh (5) chipped a Dillon delivery to Adams at mid-on. The very next ball, Ricky Ponting played on. Lehmann (10) went cheaply, and when Gilchrist was run out after scoring 44 from 42 balls, Australia were 70 for 4 from 13.5 overs. Could they be all out inside 30 overs?
Phil Simmons struck twice in the 22nd over - Bevan (10) out for the second time in the series, Lee gone for a second-ball duck. When Moody was dismissed for 2 it was 119 for 7. Vice-captain Warne joined captain Waugh at the crease, 55 to win from seven overs, three wickets in hand.
After his wretched form earlier in the series, Waugh played a responsible attacking role in this innings, raising his half-century from 52 balls with a six off Hooper, part of a 16-run over as the Aussies homed in on their target. With one over to go Australia were up to 168 for 7, six needed for victory.
Pitch invasion number one caused a delay before Keith Arthurton was given the responsibility of the final over. Two runs to Waugh off the first ball, no run off the second. And the third. And the fourth. And the fifth. Australia needed four to win off the final delivery, and that was where all hell broke loose...
At the end of the day Steve Waugh had scored 72 not out from 65 balls (five fours, three sixes). Shane Warne was not out 19, after initially thought to have been run out before Subba Row made his determination.
With such a close result, the fifth ball of the twelfth over of the West Indian innings cannot be forgotten. Moody bowled to Campbell, who nicked the ball into the flap of his pads. The ball was still lodged in Campbell's pads as the batsmen ran for a single. Instead of calling dead ball, umpire Billy Doctrove allowed the run to stand.
Five matches down, and the series still stands at 2-2 as the final matches are played at Bridgetown, Barbados this weekend. In all the chaos, we were still waiting at press time, nine hours after the end of the game, for a Man of the Match announcement.
Georgetown, Guyana has seen less and less international cricket over recent years, being removed from the Test schedule because of poor seasonal weather. After crowd scenes like those yesterday, and just as importantly, woefully inadequate control by the police, Guyana, the home of Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Lance Gibbs, Carl Hooper and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, may have just witnessed its last international game for years to come.
Footnote: the West Indies would have won the match if it was deemed abandoned after 29.5 overs of the Australian innings (ie, the last unhindered delivery before the pitch invasion), and the Duckworth/Lewis method of calculating run-rates for interrupted matches had applied. At that stage Australia would have needed to have been on 172 to win, they had only scored 170.