West Indies v Australia, Seventh One-Day International
Rick Eyre for CricInfo - 25 April 1999

CricInfo report


(CricInfo365, Apr.26) - Australia's tour of the West Indies ended at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown on a downbeat note yesterday. It wasn't the fact that Australia lost the match, levelling the seven-game one-day series at 3-3 plus a tie. It was the fact that for the second time in five days, crowd unruliness had reared its ugly head, this time worse than the previous.

West Indies won the seventh and last one-day international in the series yesterday by eight wickets after ten overs had been lost due to a 46 minute interruption while bottles and debris, thrown from the grandstands, were removed from the field.

The first sensation of the day came with the team announcements in the morning. Australia's eleven unchanged, but the West Indies made one alteration: Curtly Ambrose replacing Carl Hooper. But what was the reason for Hooper's omission?

No, he wasn't injured. No, he wasn't being rested. Carl Hooper was out of the seventh one-day international because he had, overnight, retired from international cricket. Effective straight away.

At this stage, the reason for Hooper's sudden retirement is not known. He had missed the early stages of the Test series because of the illness of his son in Australia. The condition of his son is, however, understood to have improved since then. There have been suggestions that Hooper has lost interest in the game, and rumours that the heckling he received on the field on Saturday hastened his decision. All is likely to be revealed in the next day or so, Hooper's replacement for the World Cup also to be decided.

Steve Waugh won the toss and chose to bat. Dillon produced a fine opening spell to dismiss Gilchrist (6) and Ponting (1), who had made one scoring shot each. Lehmann (8) nicked an Ambrose offcutter to Jacobs, and it was 29 for 3 in the seventh over. The Waugh twins added 34 before Mark (26) played on to Reon King. Steve (30 from 29 balls) walked rather than wait for a third umpire call on a catch behind.

Bevan (34 from 38 balls) was playing a customary innings when he was run out, forced to take a detour around bowler Hendy Bryan. There was no suggestion of deliberate impediment, but Australia were now in trouble at 119 for 6.

Tom Moody played a sheet-anchor role which was almost painfully slow, reaching double-figures from his 47th ball faced. Shane Lee produced his highest score in his 23 one-day internationals to date, and at 47 he was yorked to become King's second victim.

After a typical Julian cameo (20 from 12 deliveries), Moody erupted. His first 25 runs came from 70 balls, his next 25 came from ten. Two towering sixes, off Arthurton and Ambrose, were the highlights of Moody's ninthwicket 50-run stand with Warne (20 from 19). After looking like dismissal under 150 was a prospect, Australia ended their fifty overs on 252 for 9. Reon King was expensive in taking 3/59 from nine overs, while the underrated Mervyn Dillon took 2/36 from his ten to finish the series with twelve wickets at 15 runs apiece.

With Australia's bowling stocks depleted due to absence of McGrath and Dale (not to mention the bizarre episode before the start of the one-day series when Andy Bichel was selected, then de-selected, as Dale's replacement), Mark Waugh shared the new ball with Damien Fleming. Sherwin Campbell and Ridley Jacobs - as an opening pair, perhaps the find of the series raised 66 runs in the first fifteen overs with only one blemish, when Jacobs was dropped by Bevan in slips on 12. Shane Lee, whose three overs on Saturday were worth 27 runs, bowled another two overs in this game for another 20. The opening partnership had reached 99 when Jacobs (54) drove Steve Waugh straight to brother Mark at cover.

Jimmy Adams (18) was forced from the field when he got a top edge to a Michael Bevan delivery which cannoned straight into his face. The acting West Indian captain was not wearing a visor.

The last ball of the 29th over was when the real drama occurred. Julian bowled to Chanderpaul, who pushed to the on-side and took a quick single. Campbell followed through for the run along the edge of the pitch. Julian raced across Campbell's path to field the ball, but then stopped abruptly as Bevan swooped and then raced the few metres to break the stumps. Behind Julian, however, Campbell was spreadeagled on the ground, unable to get around Julian in time.

Campbell immediately remonstrated to the umpire, even as he was falling to the ground, that he had been unfairly obstructed by Julian. Replays show Julian glancing back at Campbell before their collision occurred. Whether he was trying to avoid Campbell or whether he balked to body-check him is something that will be debated for a long time to come. The umpires, without reference to the video judge, gave Campbell out.

Many in the crowd, were displeased with the decision, began to shout ``We want Campbell, we want Campbell'', and then objects started raining onto the ground. With bottles flying and breaking on the ground, Steve Waugh, who came within centimetres of being struck by a bottle himself, took his players off the field.

In the dressing room, the decision was made to recall Campbell to the crease and withdraw the appeal for the run out. It is believed that the Australian camp made the decision in consultation with the local police, who are reported to have advised that they could not guarantee the security of the players if Campbell was not allowed to bat on.

Barbados's finest cricketing son of all time, Sir Garfield Sobers, was brought out onto the field to make an appeal over the public address system for order. Once the hooliganism had settled down, ground officials began cleaning up the debris. Match referee Raman Subba Row decided that play should resume, ten overs lost and the West Indies to face a revised target under the Duckworth/Lewis method.

With the score at 138 for 1 after 29 overs, WI's target was revised to 196 from forty overs. Campbell added ten more runs before edging a Bevan delivery that should have been left as a wide, out for 62.

With Adams back at the crease wearing a face-grill, the remainder of the day was a bit of an anti-climax. Adams (37* from 32) and Chanderpaul (31* from 29) cruised at greater than a run a ball to victory with three overs to spare.

The series finished in a 3-3 draw, perhaps the most fitting result. Certainly Australia would have hoped for better in their buildup to the World Cup. For the West Indies, hammered 6-1 by South Africa three months ago, it represented a marked improvement in their fortunes. They will, however, find it difficult in Group B of the World Cup first round against Australia, Pakistan and New Zealand, and they also need to choose a replacement for Hooper, someone denied the opportunity of playing in this seven-match series.

Sherwin Campbell's man of the match award for game seven was probably something of a sympathy vote, but his man of the series award was fully justified. He was the leading run scorer over the seven matches with 312. Shane Warne (13) was the leading wicket-taker on either side but the contributions of Mervyn Dillon should not be underestimated.

Sadly, however, the thing that will be remembered most about this day is yet another crowd disturbance at yet another West Indian venue. Steve Waugh said on Wednesday at Georgetown that one day a player would get seriously hurt. This day, the risks were even greater.

Written for CricInfo by Rick Eyre (rick@cricinfo.com)