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Batting collapse sinks Windies against Aussies in first ODI


Batting collapse sinks Windies against Aussies in first ODI
Kieron Pollard bats during his top score of 56. (Picture courtesy CWI Media)

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Inept batting from West Indies and a destructive spell from Mitchell Starc overshadowed a career-best spell from Hayden Walsh Jr, and Australia crashed the return of international cricket to Barbados with a comprehensive, 133-run win under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method in the rain-marred first One-day International.

Chasing a revised target of 257 from 49 overs under the lights at an empty Kensington Oval, the Windies batting failed to fire, and they were bowled out for 123 in 26.2 overs – a far cry from what their coach Phil Simmons had wanted before the series.

Only a top score of 56 from West Indies captain Kieron Pollard prevented the Caribbean side from falling for a total under 100, after Starc and new-ball partner Josh Hazlewood flattened the top-order batting of the hosts.

The Windies were reeling on 35 for six before the first Power Play ended and Pollard eased the pain of another catastrophic batting collapse with five fours and three sixes in his 57-ball knock.

Starc ended with five for 48 from eight overs and Hazlewood took three for 11 from six overs.

Fate further dealt Walsh a cruel hand when he edged fellow leg-spinner Adam Zampa and was caught behind for 20 to formalise the result.

The result meant that West Indies trail 0-1 in the three-match series, which continues on Thursday at the same venue, starting at 2:30 p.m.

It also meant that the Windies are now under immense pressure to win the remaining two matches to gain valuable points and bolster their effort to automatically qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 India.

On the batting performance, Pollard said after the match: “It is what it is. My biggest thing is that I want the guys to fight. Just because the ball is swinging or moving, don’t just give it away with soft dismissals. Let them work for your wicket.

“Because sometimes it’s a good ball, doesn’t mean that you have to get out to it. The most important factor to me is we didn’t show that sort of fight.”

He added: “We knew Australia is very dangerous with the new ball and that’s where they look to pounce on oppositions.

“Once we can fight through that, watching the rest of the attack, I think it’s something we can manage, so we have to find a way to get through those first 10 overs and see where that takes us.”

Earlier, Walsh grabbed five for 39 from his allotted 10 overs, and the Australians reached 252 for nine from their allocation of 49 overs in between four stoppages for rain, after they chose to bat.

“I think we did pretty well (with the ball),” Pollard said. “The par score here is about 260, 270. Being able to restrict them to about 250-odd I think was a fantastic effort by the bowlers.

“If I’m brutally honest I thought we gave away about 20 to 25 runs in the field with some freebies. But I thought the way the guys bowled; the bowlers have been doing a fantastic job for us.”

Walsh is no stranger to the island, having played a few seasons with the Barbados Pride and Barbados Tridents, and club matches up to last year for reigning Barbados Cricket Association Twenty20 Cup champions, Gladiola.

He snuffed out a dangerous late innings flourish to restrict the Aussies, after he was belatedly introduced into the attack.

The Windies were under early pressure when ODI debutants Josh Philippe and Ben McDermott gave Australia a confident start of 50 inside the first Power Play.

But pacer Alzarri Joseph and left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein took two wickets apiece and the Caribbean side had the visitors on the ropes on 114 for four in the 26th over.

West Indies met resistance from stand-in Australian captain Alex Carey, whose 67 from 87 balls was the top score, and Ashton Turner with 49 from 45 balls, when the pair put on 104 for the fifth wicket.

Bowling inside the final 10 overs, Walsh turned the tide, removing both in the space of five balls in the 45th over, and the Australians threw caution to the cool easterly breeze the rest of the way.

Summarised scores:

AUSTRALIA 252 for nine off 49 overs (Alex Carey 67, Ashton Turner 49, Josh Philippe 39, Ben McDermott 28, Mitchell Marsh 20, Adam Zampa 12 not out; Hayden Walsh Jr 10-0-39-5, Alzarri Joseph 2-40, Akeal Hosein 2-50).

WEST INDIES 123 off 26.2 (Kieron Pollard 56, Hayden Walsh Jr 20, Alzarri Joseph 17, Shimron Hetmyer 11; Mitchell Starc 8-1-48-5, Josh Hazlewood 3-11).