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Tri-series 2016, Match 8 Review: Marsh and Maxwell eclipse Samuels ton

Australia
Australian cricketer Mitchell Marsh (#8) and his teammate Glenn Maxwell celebrate their vicoty during the 8th One Day International match of the Tri-nation Series between Australia and West Indies at the Kensington Oval stadium in Bridgetown on June 21, 2016.
Australia defeated West Indies by 6 wickets to secure their place in the series final. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

After the last game between South Africa and Australia was washed out, the West Indies team surely had a sigh of relief as their chances of making it to the finals got a shot in the arm. Languishing at the bottom place among the three teams, West Indies had started off on a high in the tournament. They, however, lost the plot since then and have been at the receiving end thereafter.

Australia, on the other hand, have put up strong performances after the early jitters. With all the players fit and raring to go, Aussie skipper Steve Smith has done well to shuffle his players to keep the team fit. Coming into the game, Australia won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling first. David Warner was the surprise exclusion from the playing eleven and even more startling was the fact that Australia did not field any spinners. For the Windies, Shannon Gabriel made his ODI debut.

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West Indies openers Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher walked to the crease as Mitchell Starc ran in to bowl the first over. It was the 4th delivery of the match that sent Charles back to the pavilion on a duck as Starc drew first blood. Darren Bravo joined Fletcher in the middle. The duo added 29 runs before Josh Hazlewood dismissed Bravo for 15 in the 8th over. An over later, Starc got rid of Fletcher on 9 to leave Windies struggle at 31/4.

Two new batsmen, Marlon Samuels and Denesh Ramdin, were at the crease. The two veterans of the side delivered the goods when it mattered. They not only hung around for a long while but also kept the scorecard moving at a brisk rate. A marathon 192 run stand was on the cards for the West Indies as the duo plundered runs and notched up their individual half centuries.

Also check out – Twitter Reactions: Australia secure a final berth with a win over Windies

It was Mitchell Starc who cleaned up Denesh Ramdin on 91 that came off 92 deliveries to break the partnership in the 43rd over. Meanwhile, Samuels got an inch better as he struck yet another marvellous ton and continued rallying along the West Indies innings. He was joined by Kieron Pollard, who scored 20 off 18 balls before being dismissed. Brathwaite followed soon. However, it was Samuels’ resistance that saw West Indies post a decent 282 runs on the board in their 50 overs.

Samuels was dismissed on the last ball of the final over of the innings on 125 that came off 134 balls including 14 fours and 2 sixes. For the visitors, Starc was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/51 in his 10 overs.

The run chase began and both the Australian openers fell cheaply after getting a decent start. While Usman Khawaja scored a run-a-ball  17 before becoming Shannon Gabriel’s first ODI scalp, Aaron Finch scored 16 off 11 and perished to Carlos Brathwaite. Skipper Steve Smith then joined hands with George Bailey as the two middle order batsmen showed class and elegance, scoring quick runs.

They kept the scoreboard moving and put on 64 runs for the 3rd wicket before Sulieman Benn removed George Bailey on 34. In walked Mitchell Marsh, who then steered Australia closer to the win with skipper Smith. Meanwhile, Smith brought up his half century and looked set for a well deserved century. However, a miscommunication in the middle saw Smith getting run out on 78 (107 balls) in the 42nd over to bring Glenn Maxwell to the crease.

Stats and records – Tri-series 2016, 8th ODI: West Indies v Australia – Statistical Highlights

Maxwell took very little time to settle and started hitting his free flowing shots right from the word go. Mitchell Marsh, too, brought up his half-century to seal the game for Australia. Maxwell’s quickfire 49 off 26 balls, studded with 5 fours and 2 sixes, partnered with Marsh’s unbeaten 79 off 85 balls saw Australia home by 6 wickets and 8 balls to spare.

The defeat makes the next game between West Indies and South Africa a knockout, whoever wins goes into the finals.

Brief Scores:

West Indies – 282/8 in 50 overs (Samuels 125, Ramdin 91, Starc 3/51, Faulkner 2/56)

Australia – 283/4 in 48.4 overs (Marsh 79*, Smith 78, Gabriel 1/43, Benn 1/47)

Man of the match: Marlon Samuels

What were the talking points of the game? – Tri-series 2016, West Indies v Australia, 8th ODI – 5 Talking Points

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