PROVIDENCE, Guyana, June 6, (Agencies): David Warner scored an unbeaten half century as Australia romped to a six-wicket thrashing of West Indies in their opening Tri-Nation Series day-night game at the Guyana National Stadium on Sunday. Warner’s 55 not out saw Australia home with almost 25 overs to spare after the West Indies earlier collapsed from 50 for one to 116 all out from 32.3 overs. Australia then wasted little time in getting to the modest target, Warner anchoring the effort to ensure a victory that was never in doubt despite the loss of three wickets for seven runs with the end in sight.
Spinners Sunil Narine, with two wickets in one over, and Sulieman Benn caused the discomfort but it was not enough to save the hosts. The emphatic victory earned Australia a bonus point to move ahead of the West Indies in the three-team standings before Tuesday’s final game at Providence against South Africa. “Our batting is a real concern,” said West Indies coach Phil Simmons. “The bowlers and fielding side are doing a great job but we need to get it together with the bat for the next two matches in St Kitts.” Boosted by a four-wicket win in the tournament-opener against the South Africans at the same venue two days earlier, the West Indies plummeted back down to earth at the feet of the World Cup-holders, whose frontline spinners Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa did the bulk of the damage with three wickets apiece after the usual effective opening burst from Mitchell Starc.
“I really enjoyed it out there on that pitch,” Zampa enthused after his performance. “South Africa will be a big challenge though on Tuesday with so many quality batsmen.” Playing his first international match for more than six months after being sidelined by injury, the left-arm fast bowler breached the defences of openers Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles to finish with figures of two for 37 from nine overs. He showed signs of rustiness in delivering five wides and a no-ball, however his lethal pace proved more than a handful for the West Indies top order.
Starc’s tally of ODI wickets is now at 92 in his 47th match and should he take eight more before the end of this competition he will eclipse Pakistan’s Saqlain Mustaq for the record as the fastest to 100 wickets in terms of matches played in this format of the international game. Charles topscored with a chancy 22 while all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite was last out for 21, Aaron Finch taking the catch at long-on to give Zampa his third wicket. Notwithstanding the turgid surface, the home batsmen contributed to their swift demise with a succession of poor shots, exemplified by Darren Bravo’s loose cover-drive at seamer Mitchell Marsh which offered a straightforward catch to Zampa at cover. Lyon, the experienced off-spinner, had an almost instant impact in disposing of Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard off successive deliveries. Pollard, whose unbeaten 67 guided the West Indies to victory over the Proteas two days earlier, attempted a heave over long-on to be taken by Warner on the boundary.
Jason Holder gave mystery spinner Narine first use of the new ball from one end in hopes of an immediate breakthrough at the start of the Australian reply, but it was left to the captain to separate the opening pair as Warner and Finch got off to a flying start with a succession of boundaries on both sides of the wicket. They had put on 44 by the eighth over when Finch was leg-before for 19 in Holder’s first over, giving the gangling Barbadian his 50th wicket in One-Day International cricket. Meanwhile, South Africa must polish the weaker element of their bowling armoury and make better use of a spinning wicket when they face Australia in the tri-nation series in Guyana on Tuesday. They must also nullify the threat of Australia’s powerful hitters to stand any chance of victory in their second oneday international, spinner Aaron Phangiso told reporters on Sunday. South Africa lost the opener in the 10-match series to hosts West Indies at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence on Friday after being dismissed for a paltry total of 188 as Sunil Narine returned to international action with a six-wicket haul.
South Africa’s spinners took six wickets in reply but were also laid into by Kieron Pollard, whose unbeaten 67 took West Indies to a four-wicket victory. “We can maybe try a different approach when a player like Pollard is on the attack, perhaps change up the lengths a little bit,” Phangiso said. “It’s something that we will need to work on — how to counter a situation when a batsman is being positive and on the attack,” he added. Against West Indies, Phangiso posted career-best figures of 3-40, which might have looked a lot more flattering had Pollard not hit him for three enormous sixes. “The surface was dry, definitely not one that you get back in South Africa often. It was very helpful to the spinners, we saw Narine taking a six-for-27 for the West Indies and our spinners picked up six wickets between us. “I’m quite pleased with my performance but there is still a lot of improvement to be done,” he said. Australia, South Africa and West Indies meet each other three times over the next three weeks in Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis and Barbados with the top two playing in the final in Bridgetown on June 26.
West Indies vs Australia Scoreboard
PROVIDENCE, Guyana, June 6, (AFP): Scoreboard of the second match of the Tri-Nation One-Day International series between the West Indies and Australia at the Guyana National Stadium on Sunday:
WEST INDIES Innings
J. Charles b Starc 22
A. Fletcher c Maxwell b Starc 4
D. Bravo c Zampa b Marsh 19
M. Samuels lbw Lyon 10
D. Ramdin lbw Maxwell 12
K. Pollard c Warner b Lyon 0
C. Brathwaite c Finch b Zampa 21
J. Holder b Zampa 1
S. Benn c and b Lyon 3
S. Narine stpd wkpr Wade b Zampa 5
J. Taylor not out 5
Extras (lb-3, w-9, nb-2) 14
Total (32.3 overs, all out) 116
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Fletcher), 2-50 (Bravo), 3-59 (Charles), 4-70 (Samuels), 5-70 (Pollard), 6-85 (Ramdin), 7-88 (Holder), 8-91 (Benn), 9-111 (Narine), 10-116 (Brathwaite)
Bowling: M. Starc 9-0-37-2 (1nb, 5w), J. Hazlewood 3-0-13-0 (1nb), N. Lyon 10-2-39-3 (2w), M. Marsh 3-1-5-1, A. Zampa 5.3-0-16-3, G. Maxwell 2-1-3-1.
D. Warner not out 55
A. Finch lbw Holder 19
U. Khawaja c Holder b Benn 27
S. Smith lbw Narine 6
G. Maxwell b Narine 0
M. Marsh not out 9
Extras (lb-1) 1
Total (25.4 overs, 4 wickets) 117
Fall of wickets: 1-44 (Finch), 2-85 (Khawaja), 3-92 (Smith), 4-92 (Maxwell).
Did not bat: M. Wade, A. Zampa, M. Starc, J. Hazlewood, N. Lyon.
Bowling: S. Narine 10-2-36-2, J. Taylor 3-0-20-0, S. Benn 6-0-21-1, J. Holder 3-0-21-1, Brathwaite 3-0-14-0, Fletcher – 0.4-0-4-0.
Result: Australia won by 6 wickets
Next match: June 7 – Australia vs South Africa (Providence, Guyana)
Umpires: Nigel Llong (ENG), Gregory Brathwaite (BAR)
Match Referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)