West Indies v Australia, Super Eights, Antigua March 28, 2007

Lara smashes, Samuels swishes



Brian Lara tried his best to counter the Australians, but it was a backs-to-the-wall effort © Getty Images
Futile resistance of the Day
This might just have been Brian Lara's final appearance against his favourite foes, Australia, and he was determined to depart with a performance to remember. While others floundered his class shone through, and his dismissive treatment of Shaun Tait - four fours in 12 balls, including three in a row - was further proof of the frailties in this bowling attack. But so long as they keep posting mountainous totals, not even Lara will be able to upstage them on his own.

Pre-ante-penultimate hurrah of the Day
Glenn McGrath's farewell tour of the Caribbean had "Bridge too Far" written all over it. After his partner-in-Test-crime, Shane Warne, bowed out in near-immaculate fashion in the Ashes whitewash at Sydney, McGrath stuttered his way through the subsequent CB Series, producing a memorably geriatric performance in the first final at Melbourne. Now, however, he has swept up nine wickets in four matches to slot in one behind Wasim Akram on 54 World Cup wickets. This first-change lark isn't so demeaning after all.

Top-edged swish of the Day
This one's too close to call. Was it Chris Gayle's second-ball smear against McGrath - a pre-meditated pull that steepled to mid-on - or Marlon Samuels' yippity-skippity hurtle down the track that ended up as a one-handed miscue to cover? Toss of the coin, and Samuels wins it by a (leading) edge.

Rubbish attendance of the Day
Something's gone desperately awry with the marketing for this game. The buzz upon arrival was that this match was a sell-out, and yet - for all that this was a reserve day - there was not a soul in any of the three stands at midwicket. The exorbitant ticket prices are only partly to blame. According to one disgruntled fan, the lack of over-the-counter sales points contributed to the poor attendance. "There's no culture of buying online in the Caribbean," he told Cricinfo. "Instead there were queues around the block for the few kiosks at the ground, and everyone assumed the seats would have gone."

Spooky coincidence of the Day
After 30 overs of West Indies' flaccid reply, they had inched along to 114 for 5. At precisely the same moment, 770 miles to the south at the Providence Stadium in Guyana, Sri Lanka had been reduced to 114 for 5. Whoo!

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo