The West Indies haven't beaten us in an ODI since 2006. It doesn't look like they will be doing it this series as well. After restricting us really well on a tough track to play a natural limited overs innings on, our bowlers took them on and were backed by tidy fielding. In the end it was a walk over, an absolute walk over.
The Windies simply folded with the bat and our bowlers did a smart job. I expected them fight harder.
Result: Australia won by 64 runs (1-0)
Australia: 8/204 from 50 overs. David Warner 40, George Bailey (debut) 48.
West Indies: 140 all out. Xavier Doherty 4-49 , Dan Christian 2-12, Clint McKay 2-22, Brett Lee 1-25.
Things started off briskly for us as skipper Shane Watson found his stride early on in his innings. It was going along smoothly with David Warner playing the anchor role at the other end. On 21 Watto was sent packing LBW and this sparked the arrival of David Warner in the Caribbean as he found the boundary with wise shot selection.
It was good to see Pitbull get runs behind his name early on which will boost his confidence so much after he left Australia having achieved, in my opinion, a golden summer as a step up to the next level as a player.
The catch seemed to be a struggle for application to adapt to the conditions.
The wicket did seem to slow down and the timing was a definite struggle, especially watching George Bailey's debut innings. George top scored with a hard fought 48 runs and had a respectful initiation to limited overs cricket on tour for Australia.
He managed to strike 5 boundaries with some luck here and there but he has made the debut, made the runs to contribute and most importantly on a personal note was that he was awarded Player of the match!
Well done George.
Even Michael Hussey took a while to find his rhythm which usually indicates something if he spends considerable time at the crease. This wasn't a wicket to come in all guns blazing. Application, patience and a solid game plan were essential, as the Windies found out soon enough.
The only partnership they managed to find any stability was between Dwayne Bravo, in his first game for the Windies for some time; and Marlon Samuels, who is a cricketer with immense talent.
After Brett Lee and Clint McKay bowled a splendid opening partnership, operating in tandem to choke the Windies openers for runs, the wickets came as well. Binga played a vital role in running out the Windies young danger man, Darren Bravo, and it immediately brought back memories of the 2008 tour where he (Binga) contributed so well for the team.
The major breakthrough was due to Dan Christian, immediately showing his value to be offered for Australian limited overs cricket. A beautiful off-cutter ripped between bat and pad which saw the end of Dwayne Bravo. DC and Clint McKay offered similar contributions for the game with medium pacers proving very difficult to score off. After that departure, Marlon Samuels followed soon after in a daft moment, charging down the track to blast Xavier Doherty out the ground, only get to get an edge to Watto at slip.
That short burst of aggression from Samuels and Bravo, where they brutally slammed Xavier Doherty's spin over the boundary ropes, changed the Windies momentum. It gave them an increase in run rate but severely messed up their temperament.
Kudos to Xavier for sticking to his game plan after getting quite a panel beating during his spell. I thought he bowled pretty well during the Commonwealth Bank series and to wrap up with 4 wickets shows a job well done.
The fielding impressed me and all the bowlers contributed. This was really pleasing to see after the batting was short of an expected target John Inverarity, Chairman of Selectors, stated was around 230 in their mind. It was defended and that was all that was needed.
Victory has been claimed for the 1st ODI of the 2012 West Indian Tour and this was a well needed start to rejuvenate the side after a long summer. Convincing and pleasing.
On a side note, I am sure you know by now that Brad Haddin has left the Windies Tour and returned to Australia citing personal reasons. Peter Nevill (NSW) has been called to replace him.
Wishing Hads all the best back in Australia to see to the matter of a personal nature!
The players have a minutes silence in memory of Runako Morton. Windies player who tragically died in a car accident. © AFP
The Sheffield Shield Final:
Queensland are comfortably in the drivers seat after ripping apart Tasmania's top order.
Test players Eddie Cowan (33) and Ricky Ponting (1) were dismissed and it was some serious focus from Steve Cazzulino (68) that got Tassie into a reasonable position. Currently 5/208 with Luke Butterworth and Tom Triffitt, it will be an important first session to kick off day 2.
Alister McDermott gave us further evidence of his skills as a young fast bowler for the big stage as he wrapped up the day with figures of 4-47.
Test bowler Ryan Harris didn't take a wicket but had tidy figures and I expect him to take lower order Tassie wickets. Former ODI player and Queensland Bulls captain, James Hopes, was also tidy and managed a wicket.
If you're a Queensland Bulls supporter you will be chuffed with the start. If you're a Tasmanian Tigers side you will be a bit uncertain but bear in mind we have 4 days to go.
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