December 1, 2000

McGrath hat-trick has Windies reeling at 5/65


PERTH - A Glenn McGrath hattrick ripped the heart out of the West Indies top order, leaving the tourists 5-65 at lunch on day one of the second Test at the WACA here today.

McGrath became the third Australian to reach 300 Test wickets when he claimed the prized scalp of Brian Lara in the middle leg of the hattrick in his fifth over.

Only Jamaican left-hander Wavell Hinds, who was promoted to No.3 when Shivnarine Chanderpaul withdrew with a stress fracture in his foot, offered any resistance with a streaky unbeaten 43.

Hinds, who lost his position after struggling in the final three Tests against England this year, was dropped by Ricky Ponting on 16 off McGrath (3-22).

He received another life three runs later when he was caught by substitute Andy Bichel off a Jason Gillespie (0-16) no ball and then on 33 he edged Brett Lee (2-24) to Adam Gilchrist who spilt the tough chance.

Windies opener Daren Ganga did not share his teammate's luck when he was sent to the pavilion forn a duck by a dubious lbw decision from English umpire John Hampshire in Lee's first over.

Australian skipper Steve Waugh ensured McGrath wouldn't have a long wait before he entered the record books when he won the toss and sent the visitors in to bat.

Opener Sherwin Campbell, who had struggled for his three runs, was first when a thick edge flew to Ponting at first slip.

That was McGrath's 299th wicket in his 64th Test and set the scene for his dream of reaching his milestone with the dismissal of his arch-rival.

With the WACA crowd in full chant, McGrath pitched the ball just outside the off stump forcing Lara to play.

Such is McGrath's dominance over Lara the edge seemed a formality, but there was a split second where the entire WACA crowd's hearts missed a beat when Stuart MacGill juggled the ball at fourth slip before controlling it.

The hattrick, the tenth by an Australian, was completed when Windies captain Jimmy Adams was caught at short leg by Justin Langer for a golden duck.

Lee followed up by claiming the wicket of Ramnaresh Sarwan for 2 when he was caught by Michael Slater in the covers when attempting to drive.