KOLKATA, India (CMC):Captain Darren Sammy’s aggressive, unbeaten half-century led a determined lower-order rally as West Indies beat Australia by three wickets with a ball to spare in their final official warm-up game of the Twenty20 World Cup here yesterday.Rocked by seamer Josh Hazlewood’s hat-trick in the fourth over to be tottering on 49 for five in the ninth over, West Indies recovered brilliantly to reach their target of 162 at Eden Gardens, thanks to exactly 50 off 28 balls from Sammy.All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite smashed 33 from just 14 deliveries, while Andre Russell blasted 29 from 15 balls, as West Indies scored over 10 runs per over in the final half of the innings as they gathered 106 runs from the last 59 balls.The revival started with a 23-run, sixth-wicket stand between Sammy and Russell and continued with an exhilarating 53-run, seventh-wicket stand off 23 balls between Sammy and Brathwaite.Sammy belted six fours and a six, while Russell counted a four and three sixes.But it was Brathwaite’s cameo which included three fours and two sixes that gave West Indies much needed impetus.He and Sammy combined to plunder 17 runs from the 15th over sent by pacer Mitchell Marsh, and they followed up by taking another 17 runs from the next over from seamer Andrew Tye (2-35).When Brathwaite perished in the same Tye over, Sammy and Ashley Nurse, who finished on 12 not out, then posted a vital 37 in an unbroken eighth-wicket partnership to see West Indies home safely.Hazlewood’s hat-trick had earlier handed Australia the advantage. He claimed Jason Holder promoted to opener for six with the second ball of his second over and then bowled Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo without scoring off successive deliveries.Opener Johnson Charles (14) and Denesh Ramdin (11) also fell cheaply to leave West Indies in deep trouble.Opting to bat first earlier, Australia started strongly but were pegged back by medium-pacer Bravo and left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, to finish on 161 for nine off their 20 overs.Bravo claimed four for 21 and Benn, three for 37, as the Aussies declined from 106 for one in the 12th over to lose eight wickets for 55 runs.Opener Shane Watson top-scored with 60 from 39 balls, striking four fours and four sixes. He put on 76 for the first wicket with Aaron Finch, who scored 33 from 24 balls and a further 30 for the second wicket with captain Steve Smith, whose 36 required 29 balls.Brathwaite was brilliant in his three overs of seam, taking three for 16.West Indies will now turn their attention to their opening group game of the T20 World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai where they take on England on Wednesday.
The announced crowd of 90,917 got its victory Saturday night, but it wanted a more emphatic performance. And it was not lost on the Trojans, who tried to explain why they didn’t earn many encores from their zealous followers. “All the jitters you get out in the first game is hard stuff,” linebacker Thomas Williams said. “Yeah, we practice against the best every day, but with the lights, the crowd cheering, the TV, it’s tough.” All-American offensive tackle Sam Baker said fans expected a more lopsided score because the opponent was Idaho, but needed to consider other factors. “A lot of people think we should win big, but we were really unsure what they would come out with defensively because they had a new coach,” Baker said. Maybe the uninspired result was attributed to the fact there did not seem to be the intensity of a normal game week around USC last week. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Neither the fans nor the players are satisfied with a 38-10 victory over Idaho. By Scott Wolf STAFF WRITER Before USC even finished beating Idaho, 38-10, fans were restless inside the Coliseum. USC coach Pete Carroll praised certain aspects of the Trojans’ initial effort, but also found plenty of little errors to point out. “We didn’t shut down the run as well as we’d hoped,” Carroll said. “I was really disappointed that we turned the ball over three times. It’s a bad start for us in that regard.” Carroll also criticized the secondary. “It was like the guys were stretching to make things happen,” he said. And he acknowledged the defensive line did not pressure the quarterback enough, a recurring problem last season. “There were four or five times where we were just short of making something happen,” Carroll said. But enough about the defense. The offense was more than culpable. Quarterback John David Booty struggled and admitted, “we had times where we played like we expected, and times where we didn’t.” Even highly touted Joe McKnight did not enjoy a smashing debut, with a fumble and 26 yards rushing in six carries. Carroll blamed the pregame buildup involving the nation’s top tailback recruit. “I thought he got through it,” Carroll said. “He seemed tired to me.” McKnight and the rest of the Trojans get two weeks to massage their bruised egos. But USC should need a much better effort against Nebraska. “Nebraska runs the football, there’s a big emphasis on that,” Carroll said. He is curious to watch how Huskers quarterback Sam Keller, a transfer from Arizona State who nearly beat USC two years ago, is used in the offense. “We get to look at them two games to see how they use Sam,” Carroll said. ETC.: Tailback Broderick Green will undergo surgery Tuesday on a stress fracture that likely will sideline him for the season. … Cornerback Josh Pinkard underwent an MRI that detected a problem in his knee, but doctors are not sure what the problem is yet. Pinkard, who did not play against Idaho, will rest a few days to see if his knee continues to bother him. … Linebacker Brian Cushing sprained his ankle but said he believed it was a low-ankle sprain and would only sideline him a few days. email@example.comWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!