WHILE Saint Lucians were exercising their franchise on Monday, the Alex Carey led Australia team was handing the West Indies a six-wicket defeat to win the three-match One Day International (ODI) series 2-.1.
The Australians took 20 out of the 30 World Cup Super League Qualifying points.
The visitors cruised past their target of 153 runs in 30.3 overs with 117 balls remaining. Matthew Wade who batted at No.5 top-scored with 51 not out from 52 deliveries which included 5 fours and 2 sixes.
For the Aussies, all five bowlers claimed wickets with Mitchell Starc taking 3 for 43 from 9.1 overs, Josh Hazlewood 2 for 18 from 8 overs, Ashton Agar 2 for 31 from 10 and Adam Zampa 2 fort 29 from 10 striking twice each and Ashton Turner 1 for 23 in 8 overs.
For West Indies, Evin Lewis top scored with 55 from 66 deliveries which included 5 fours and 3 sixes at a strike rate of 83.33. Darren Bravo 18, Alzarri Joseph 15, Shai Hope 14 and Kieron Pollard 11.
Evin Lewis had temporarily been forced to retire hurt having played a ball from Josh Hazlewood onto his own helmet with the West Indies at 14 without loss.
Lewis returned following Pollard’s dismissal for 11 caught by Ashton Turner off the bowling of Mitchell Starc with the score on 71 for 5 after 22.1 overs and although he continued to offer resistance, West Indies were all out for 152 in 45.1 overs at a run rate of 3.36.
Fall of wickets: 1 for 24 (Shimron Hetmyer), 2 for 41 (Shai Hope), 3 for 46 (Nicholas Pooran), 4 for 59 (Darren Bravo), 5 for 71 (Kieron Pollard), 6 for 75 (Jason Holder), 7 for 119 (Alzarri Joseph), 8 for 132 (Hayden Walsh), 9 for 137 (Akeal Hosein) and 10 for 152 (Sheldon Cottrell).
That total caused the Australians few problems, with captain Alex Carey 35 steadying his team after the early loss of Moises Henriques for 10 lbw to Akeal Hosein. Josh Philippe 10 caught by wicketkeeper Shai Hope off the bowling of Alzarri Joseph, Mitch Marsh 29 caught by wicketkeeper Shai Hope off the bowling of Sheldon Cottrell and Ashton Agar 19 not out led the tourists to victory in 30.3 overs.
Fall of wickets: 1 for 10 (Moises Henriques), 2 for 27 Josh Philippe), 3 for 65 (Mitchell Marsh, 4 for 99 (Alex Carey).
Bowling for West Indies, Alzarri Joseph 1 for 14 from 3 overs, Akeal Hosein 1 for 29 from 10 overs, Sheldon Cottrell 1 for 34 from 3 overs and Hayden Walsh 1 for 41 from 7 overs.
At the post match interview, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard criticize the quality of the pitch at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.
“I think both teams struggled on the pitch and I think that’s unacceptable for international cricket,” said Pollard.
“We are not going to make excuses. We accept that we batted badly, but I don’t think the scores that we have gotten in this three-match series, with two top international teams, I think that’s very embarrassing for us as a people. Coming from Saint Lucia to this, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous.”
“It was plain for the world to see. If I continue going on about it, it’s going to be headlines, ‘Pollard this, and Pollard that’. That’s fine with me. But the reality is, we as players sometimes we get the brunt of accusation and all the bad stuff. But give guys the opportunity to come and play on some good cricketing wickets.”
Player of the Series, Mitchell Starc for his 11 wickets said, “There’s plenty of ups and downs. I think part of our experience in the team is our bowling group. I think that showed today with the ball in the first innings and I think our batting unit learned from the other night and it was fantastic to grit it out and get home tonight.”
Ashton Agar player of the Match: “It’s pretty favourable conditions for a spinner. You just had to get your length right and as long as you were hitting the stumps for right hander and pitching the ball to a left hander where it’s spinning in and hitting the stumps to bring all modes of dismissal into play, that’s all you can do and you let the pitch go to work.”
Australia captain Alex Carey: “Personally and collectively it’s really exciting. It’s tough to leave home during a pandemic and the commitment that this group has shown; it’s fantastic to see a result go our way tonight.
Carey said, “The T20s didn’t go our way but that’s some great reward for a lot of commitment shown to the group. I though the bowlers did a great job. I think there were some good innings throughout the series.”