Benson and Hedges World Series, fifth qualifying match


At Sydney, January 1 (day/night). Australia won by one wicket. Toss: West Indies.

The tournament resumed after Christmas with its most thrilling game yet. With the last man in, Bevan lofted the final ball straight to the boundary to extend Australia's winning streak to four, while West Indies completed their fourth straight defeat. The bowler, Harper, shared a high-five with Bevan; given that he had claimed a catch against him earlier, which the umpires correctly decreed had hit the ground, it was pleasant to see them dispel any tension. Bevan had scored 78 from 89 balls to rescue Australia from 38 for six, and Bobby Simpson, who had witnessed most of his country's 337 one-day internationals as player, commentator or coach, called it the best chasing innings he had seen. Hooper's role was not dissimilar in rallying West Indies from 54 for five. It was Reiffel, however, who took the match award, having helped Bevan to double the score in a critical eighth-wicket stand after bagging four for 29.

Man of the Match: P. R. Reiffel. Attendance: 37,562.

© John Wisden & Co