Despite a career-best bowling performance from Hayden Walsh Jr and a courageous half-century from Captain Kieron Pollard, the West Indies capitulated to a 133-run Duckworth-Lewis defeat to Australia in the first match of the ODI series in Barbados Tuesday night.
It forced the West Indies captain to afterwards call for his batsmen to show fight.
Walsh Jr, the West Indies’ best bowler in the T20 series, carried his form over to the longer format taking 5-39 as Australia made 252-9 from 49 overs. They were led by Alex Carey’s 67 and 49 from Ashton Turner, who got his runs from just 45 balls.
Together they put on 104 runs for the fifth wicket after Akeal Hosein (2-50) and Alzarri Joseph (2-40) had combined to restrict Australia to 114-4 in the 26th over.
Walsh Jr removed both in the space of three deliveries and wrecked the lower order as Australia slumped from 218-5 for 247-9.
Duckworth/Lewis saw the West Indies needing to chase 253 for victory and the home side could not have got off to a worse start as Starc dismissing opener Evin Lewis caught and bowled first ball. Jason Mohammed (2), Darren Bravo (2) and Nicholas Pooran (0) did not last long either as the West Indies slid to 27-6 inside eight overs.
Pollard scored 56 from 57 balls as he and Alzarri Joseph set about trying to repair the damage with a 68-run eighth wicket partnership before Joseph was bowled by Mitchell Marsh for 17. Pollard became Starc’s fifth victim and then Zampa dismissed Walsh Jr for 20 as the West Indies folded for 123.
Starc returned figures of 5-48 and Josh Hazelwood 3-11 in the comprehensive victory that pleased newly appointed captain Carey.
“Not only for me but for three other boys, to make their debuts and to get a win on debut is always fantastic. The three of them performed really well so I’m excited for them and excited for the group to bounce back after the T20 series,” he said.
“Obviously, the two quicks up front were pretty special as well. We won the toss and we batted and I thought the wicket might have played a little bit different to what it did. But for us to adapt and put a score on the board, but then for the Powerplay to go the way it did for us was fantastic.”
He was quick to praise Turner and the remarkable work of his strike bowlers, Starc and Hazelwood.
“Ashton played a really crucial role. I was probably cruising along a little bit and he was getting on with it so he took the pressure off,” he said.
“I probably haven’t seen a Powerplay like that before but when they get it right we know how damaging they are.”
Starc described the victory as special.
“It was a special day. We had three debutants and a bloke captaining for the first time for Australia. We did a fantastic job with the bat to get to 250,” he said.
“It was important for two older blokes with the ball to start us off really well and I thought we were fantastic in the Powerplay. We thought there was some variable bounce and different pace there and, fortunately, helped us a little bit there so it was a nice start with the ball to carry on from a bit of momentum with the bat. It was nice for the group to get Alex Carey a win in his first game as captain.”
Meanwhile, West Indies captain Pollard, smarting from the humiliating defeat called on his side to show some fight, laying the blame squarely at the feet of his batters.
“I think we did pretty well [with the ball]. 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 20-25 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,” he said before turning his attention to the woeful batting,” Pollard explained.
“It is what it is. My biggest thing in that 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 good ball, [doesn’t] mean that you have to get out to it,” he said.
“The most important factor to me is we didn’t show that sort of fight. 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,” the Windies skipper added.