MELBOURNE: Steve Smith and Cameron Green’s unbeaten 149-run stand combined with Josh Inglis’s 65 propelled Australia to a comfortable 8-wicket win in the first ODI on Friday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
After a clinical spell with the ball, Australia set out to chase down 232. The hosts stumbled in the first over with opener Travis Head (4) losing his wicket to Matthew Forde.
Head’s dismissal saw Inglis arrive early at the crease and he didn’t waste time to get the scoreboard ticking. He raced away to 65 (43) within a blink of an eye. His brisk knock was laced with ten boundaries and a maximum.
After his departure, Smith and Green played vigilantly and stitched up a massive partnership to see off a comfortable victory in the three-match ODI series.
Smith played a run-a-ball 79* while Green took a more patient approach and scored 77* off 104 deliveries. This marked Australia’s 10th consecutive win over West Indies in the 50-over format.
Earlier in the winnings, Xavier Bartlett announced himself by grabbing four wickets, including one with his third ball in international cricket, in his debut new-ball spell, helping Australia bundle out visitors for 231 runs.
For Windies, Keacy Carty scored the highest with 88 off 108 while Chase played a fine knock of 59 runs.
Opting to bowl first, debutant Xavier Bartlett drew first blood as he removed Justin Greaves for one run in the second over of the game. In the fourth over of the game, Bartlett struck again, removing opener Alick Athanaze for 5.
The right-handed batter Keacy Carty then handled the charge with Shai Hope and kept piling runs for his team.
The debutant Bartlett then produced a fiery bowl to send Hope packing for 12 runs. Windies kept losing wickets at regular intervals but it was Carty and Roston Chase who hammered Australian bowlers all around the ground.
Carty displayed great resilience and determination as he brought up his half-century in the 31st over of the game.
The duo were dealing in boundaries against hosts while keeping the momentum on the Windies’ side. The pair stitched up a much-needed 100-run partnership stand-up.
Experienced spinner Adam Zampa then snared the wicket of Chase for 59. In the 41st over, Carty was denied a maiden century as he responded to Hayden Walsh’s call for a single but fell prey to run out.
The Windies kept losing wickets and in the second last over Sean Abbott finished the visitors’ innings as he removed Hayden Walsh, bundling out West Indies for 231 in 48.4 overs.
Brief score: West Indies 231 (Keacy Carty 88; Roston Chase 59; Xavier Bartlett 4-17) vs Australia 232/2 (Steve Smith 79*, Cameron Green 77*; Gudakesh Motie 1-58). Agencies