Tri Series 2016, Match 5: West Indies v Australia – 5 Talking Points

Tri Series 2016, Match 5: West Indies v Australia – 5 Talking Points

Kieron Pollard
West Indies cricketer Kieron Pollard celebrates their victory over Australia. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Hosts West Indies stunned visitors Australia after they registered a superb 4 wicket win in the fifth match of the Tri-series. After been put into bat, solid half-centuries from Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith and George Bailey pushed the team total to a respectable 265/7 after 50 overs. Needing 266 for victory, West Indies were provided a strong start by the openers before Marlon Samuels (92), (his first fifty-plus score against Australia since 2001) led from the front and took the team over the finish line.. He found able accomplices in Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin and Kieron Pollard.

1. Usman Khawaja and Steven Smith lay the platform:

Usman ‘Uzzie’ Khawaja and skipper Steven Smith’s fluent knocks were the highlights of the first half of the game. Khawaja made full use of the promotion to the top order. The left-hander played with elegance. But, unluckily he missed his maiden ODI century by just two runs. Smith also looked in solid control and made 47 off 95 deliveries. The right-hand/left-hand combination forged a 170 run stand for the 2nf wicket to guide Australia and set a proper platform for a big total. The stand was broken when Braithwaite caught Smith off his own bowling. Khwaja continued with his same flair for few over afterwards before the nervous nineties bogged him down and was ultimately run out in 41st over while trying to steal a third run.

2. West Indies pull back in the death overs:

Australians middle order had a good platform set by the Khawaja-Smith duo. Bailey took control of the proceedings after the pair departed. However, wickets from the other end began to fall at regular intervals and the Aussies began to lose momentum. Kieron Pollard, Carlos Braithwaite and Jason Holder snapped quick wicket during the death to avoid their batsman from chasing a big total. Debutant Travis Head and Mathew Wade failed to make their presence count and were dismissed cheaply by Pollard and Holder respectively. Mitchell Marsh came in before the duo and could contribute only 15 run to the scoreboard before Braithwaite got him. Bailey at the other end was batting steadily, however. And, made 55 at almost run a ball rate to push Australia to 2605/7 after 50 overs.

3. Lightning start:

West Indies had a lightning start to their chase. Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher smacked the ball with full authority making full of the short boundaries. On top of it, Usman Khawaja dropped gave the duo one lifeline each. Both took the Windies scoreboard to 70 in the in the 9 overs. The required run rate dropped below 5 courtesy to their onslaught. The stand was eventually broken shortly after the start of the 10 over after Fletcher popped a simple catch to Bailey at the point reagion.

4. Marlon Samuels leads the way:

Three overs after getting the first breakthrough, Smith introduced Zampa into the attack who made a quick impact by snapping Charles. However, Marlon Samuels, the number four batsman, did not let the balance shift to the other side. The right hander batted with his usual casual approach and helped his team sail smoothly. There were times when he looked stagnant and very slow but the made for it with his short burst of aggressions. Samuels lifted the chasing effort and could have hit yet another sparkling century if Wade had not caught him short of the crease with his sharp throw in the 41st over. He departed for a well-made 92.

5. Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin offer support:

Samuels superb 92 was the backbone of the chase but the job would have been left unfinished had Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin not played supporting roles to him. After losing the openers in short span, Bravo stuck at the crease with Samuels and took the math further. He put up 85 runs for the 4th wicket with Samuels and kept the chase steady before departing in the 31st over after making 39. His loss did not hamper the momentum as Denesh Ramdin then played the anchors role with his small, patient 29 runs knock. He kept company with Samuels and stitched a 73 runs partnership for the 4th wicket, taking West Indies closer to their target further.