West Indies 26-year Wait Continues after Six-wicket Defeat

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Photo: CMC

West Indies produced yet another mediocre effort with the bat despite opener Evin Lewis’s unbeaten half-century, and Australia easily chased down the paltry total to win the final One-Day International by six wickets and clinch the three-match series 2-1 in Barbados on Monday night.

Chasing 153 under lights at Kensington Oval, Australia overhauled their target in the 31st over with Matthew Wade hitting an unbeaten 51 off 52 deliveries.

When the visitors slumped to 27 for two in the eighth over, West Indies were still in the contest, but captain Alex Carey struck 35 and Mitchell Marsh chipped in with 29 to change the complexion of the game.

The left-handed Lewis had earlier bounced back strongly from a blow to the head which forced him to retire hurt in the fourth over, to top score with 55 off 66 deliveries.

However, he was the only one to pass 20 as West Indies, choosing to bat, collapsed for 152 in the 46th over, on a pitch difficult for stroke-play.

Left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc led the attack again with three for 43 while fast bowler Josh Hazlewood (2-18), leg-spinner Adam Zampa (2-29) and left-arm spinner Ashton Agar (2-31) claimed two wickets each.

“Obviously we didn’t bat well. Yes the wicket was a bit tacky but having said that, I thought we did the hard work in the first couple overs not losing early wickets in the first couple overs – that’s what’s been hampering us,” a dejected captain Kieron Pollard said afterwards.

“But we weren’t able to string partnerships together so 153 was never going to be enough. Two hundred, 220 on that track might have been a fighting total.”

Australia won last Thursday’s opener by 133 runs before going down by four wickets in the rescheduled second ODI last Saturday.

The latest victory saw them extend their 26-year series winning streak over West Indies and Carey, leading Australia after injury ruled Aaron Finch out of the series, said they were thrilled by the outcome.

“I think personally and collectively it’s really exciting. We know it’s tough leaving home in a pandemic and the commitment this group’s shown, it’s fantastic to see the result go our way tonight,” Carey said.

“The T20s didn’t go our way but [this series win] is great reward for a lot of commitment shown from the group.”

West Indies started quietly but once Lewis top-edged a pull at Hazlewood onto his helmet and was forced off on five with West Indies on 14 without loss, wickets tumbled regularly.

Left-hander Shimron Hetmyer played on to a short ball from Hazlewood in the eighth over for six, prolific opener Shai Hope squirted a catch to point off Agar for 14 in the 13th over while left-hander Nicholas Pooran shouldered arms to one from off-spinner Ashton Turner which drifted in, and was bowled in the 14th.

Darren Bravo (18) skied Agar to cover in frustration in the 19th over before Pollard sliced Starc to cover in the 23rd over, as Australia ripped out the core of the West Indies batting before the half-way stage of the innings.

Much rested on all-rounder Jason Holder (5) but when he missed a heave at Zampa and lost his leg stump, West Indies were reeling on 75 for six in the 24th over.

Lewis returned to the crease in the 23rd at the fall of Pollard’s wicket and all told, belted five fours and three sixes, as he put on 48 for the seventh wicket with Alzarri Joseph (15) to revive the innings.

In reply, openers Moises Henriques (1) and Josh Philippe (10) perished cheaply but Carey put on 38 for the third wicket with Marsh before adding a further 34 for the fourth with Wade, to rescue the run chase.

When Carey missed a sweep at leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr and was lbw in the 21st over, Wade took responsibility for the winnings, striking five fours and a couple of sixes in a 54-run, unbroken fifth-wicket stand with Agar (19 not out) to see Australia comfortably home.

CMC

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