Bad shot by bad shot: Australia claim first ODI win over West Indies
As usual, the already slow Arnos Vale pitch slowed down in the second innings. But as the history of match results attests, teams still managed to chase scores so there’s no benefit to batting first.
In the previous 10 matches, the first innings average was 202 but with all due respect, the West Indies recent (last 17 years) poor batting might have brought that average down.
The right arm medium fast Dwayne Bravo almost had Shane Watson out LBW first ball via referral but the LBW not out decision was upheld by the third umpire because only 49 percent of the ball was in-line, and only millimetres saved Watson.
A very good decision from domestic West Indian umpire Peter Nero who continued to have a good game.
Kemar Roach bowed with accuracy and fire even though he’s cut he’s pace down a bit to average around the 140 KPH mark. However, Roach still seems to rush the batsmen’s stroke.
Watson started off miss-timing a few pull shots. Warner also found timing difficult: his first 8 came off 20 balls. The pitch was quite a bit slower than the openers are used to back in Australia.
In a virtual replay of his first LBW shout; Dwayne Bravo got his man: Shane Watson LBW. If fact when I first saw it; I thought it was a replay it was so similar.
After consultation with Warner, Watson referred the ‘out’ decision. Watson was front foot driving towards mid-on as the ball hit the top third ring of his front knee roll.
Watson probably referred the out decision because if that ball impact was on a typically Australian pitch, it would probably have gone over the top of middle rather than all of the ball hitting just below the red ‘Digicel’ bails on middle and leg stump (mostly middle for all the imaginers out there) according to Hawk-eye.
“Other ball tracking systems are available” as the legally aware David Gower once wittily said.
Watson was thus out LBW bowled Dwayne Bravo for 21 off 23 balls leaving Australia on 1 for 31. Another good Peter Nero decision.
Australia were 1-51 after 10 power-play overs but the Arnos Vale pitch was a ‘slowy’ as Michael Slater would probably say.
The Trinidadian offspinner Sunil Narine turns the ball each way like Mendis. And like the Sri Lankan, he has the finger ball that turns a little bit away from the right-hander after pitching. Narine appears to turn his off-break more than Mendis. Forrest had trouble reading Narine.
When on 29, Warner almost spooned a catch to Marlon Samuels but it dropped short of Samuels who was caught on his heels.
Samuels was on his heels again when he failed to get to a caught and bowed chance from Peter Forrest when he was on 23. I suppose he (of the still dodgy looking bowling action) was too busy concentrating on bowling legally to anticipate the return chance.
Australia were 1 down for 79 after 20 overs.
The second wicket fell on 91 and was that of the slow scoring Peter Forrest [26 of 64 balls] who was out stumped Baugh bowled Narine by a near metre to a poorly executed charging front foot drive that ended up being an attempted block aimed towards mid-off.
The non turning off-break beat his outside edge. If he’d have been playing the on-drive, he’d have had his pad as a second line of defence and he would have been outside the line.
But instead, he chose to drive against the anticipated turn that never came.
The third wicket fell on 92 and was that of Warner [40 of 55 balls] who was out to a stunning mid-air one-handed catch to his left hand by Kiron Pollard at shortish [about a pitch length away from the bat] extra cover.
It was a bunted catch due to the slow nature of the pitch but a good catch all the same.
A wicked short ball from Kemar Roach hit David Hussey on the shoulder. Hussey played it with all the bravery and stoutness of a number 11 – a Phil Tufnell type number 11. Hussey was caught in the crease.
What’s wrong with a classical back and across? Another good not-out decision that time by Sri Lankan umpire Dharmasena.
It was 4-99 after David Hussey was out caught at the wicket by keeper Baugh. The attempted drive shot was Phil Tufnell-disgusting. David Hussey was caught in the crease again.
His back foot was on leg stump, his front foot was on middle and his bat was two feet away from his front pad and his bat was also a foot away from his head where he had blocked himself off and couldn’t see the ball.
Basically, he flinched at a pitched up ball like a number 11 that had previously received a back of a length delivery. And that is what Hussey did in fact receive the ball before his dismissal.
Both feet were on leg-stump and he played towards cover point off the back foot. Technically disgusting.
He should’ve handed back his match fee. The worse the shot the harder it is to describe. He scored a duck egg and only lasted seven balls. It was un-Australian from a top six batsman.
This is a slow pitch after all, so David Hussey had no excuse. He’s a good bloke but he can’t play quality fast bowling.
In powerplay one, Australia scored 51 runs for the loss of one wicket. In the bowling powerplay overs 16-20; Australia racked up 11 runs and in the batting powerplay overs 36-40 they amassed 15 runs.
I believe ‘only’ is redundant; you know those figures are an ‘only’. Narine the mystery spinner bowled during the bowling and batting powerplays. Up to the 41st over, Narine had bowled six overs for just 12 runs in his first ODI match at home in the West Indies.
The score was 5-162 after left-hander Michael Hussey was caught at the end of 43rd over at long on by Kemar Roach for 32 from 57 balls off the bowing of Dwayne Bravo.
Deceived by Dwayne Bravos’s off-cutter slower ball. It was the last ball of the over but Hussey still crossed; not the smartest piece of cricket because it meant that Wade (a left-hander) was on strike next over against a lefthander-loving offspinner.
Wade was caught slip first ball for a golden duck egg off a classical piece of bowling from Narine; it pitched on the lefthander’s off-stump and sharply turned away from the bat just catching the outside edge. The slipper was Dwayne Bravo who took a good low down catch to his left with both hands.
The score was 7-195 after George Bailey (giving himself room outside of leg-stump) was caught at extra cover by Sunil Narine who caught the skier. George Bailey was top scorer and played quite well. He scored 48 off 67 balls.
Kemar Roach finished with figures of 10-1-33-2. Roach even hurried the greater Hussey, Michael.
The score was 8-203 after Brett Lee was caught by Johnson Charles coming in from deep square leg in the 50th over for 5 off 5 balls. It was another skyer off a Dwayne Bravo off-cutter slower-ball. Bravo only conceded 5 runs off the final over of the innings.
So Australia ended the innings on 8-204: two runs above the par score based on the mean average of the previous 10 first innings in ODIs at the Arnos Vale ground.
It was a sluggish pitch with spongy tennis ball type bounce that aided the West Indian spinners by enabling them to get bounce. The ball stuck in the pitch and players thus couldn’t hit through the line.
The West Indians also fielded well.
Bowling figures for West Indies
Kemar Roach: 10-1-33-2 econ 3.30
Dwayne Bravo: 10-1-58-3 econ 5.80 (3 wides)
Andre Russell: 4-0-21-0 econ 5.25 (1 wide)
Darren Sammy: 8-0-30-0 econ 3.75
Sunil Narine: 10-0-24-1 econ 2.40 (1 wide)
Marlon Samuels: 8-0-29-2 econ 3.62
Not a single no-ball from the West Indies.
The chase: West Indies needed 205 to win.
The West Indies first wicket fell at 1-15 when Johnson Charles was caught at third man by Michael Hussey. He scored 13 of 11 balls with mainly front-foot drives thru the covers off wide short balls.
In more detail, it was an attempted front-foot cover drive that lead to his downfall. The ball was very wide; it was just inside of the limited overs wide line painted either side of the crease.
Charles lent back in his stroke; his head about a meter away from the line of the ball. The bat came through at an angle of 45-degrees. He did well to hit the ball given his drive was so poor executed.
If his weight had been going forward into the shot, it might have only been a safe thick edge that wouldn’t have carried to third man. It was the shot more like a tail-ender’s, not a man who bats for living who aims to have a long career.
Unless he improves his technique, I think he’ll have trouble getting a mortgage as a not-very-professional cricketer.
The men in maroon were 2-23 after left-handed Kieran Powell (who made 8 off 19 balls) got out to a poorly executed pull shot: the catch lobbed to midwicket off the bowling of Lee who was bowling around the wicket.
Powell went back and across and rolled his wrists. The technique was good but Lee just beat him for pace; the ball hit the bat halfway up rather than in the sweet spot.
The ball was also onto Powell too quickly which cramped him up and meant he rolled the wrists on thin air as the ball had already hit the bat earlier than the batsmen intended. Fine margins.
Credit to the bowler because Lee was bowling around the wicket with the aim to cramp the elegant lefthander up. The ball was also a little too wide to pull easily; it was just about nearer the wide line than the off-stump.
Wide but not wide enough to cut. Because it was wide the batsmen couldn’t be late on it but he was and thus he was in no good position.
If the ball had been straighter it would just have been mistimed along the ground to midwicket. It would have been better to leave it, he wasn’t well enough in to pull such a ball bowled on that line and at that pace.
It’s worth noting that the West Indies are missing their first choice openers, Lendle Simmons and Adrian Barrett.
The West Indies best batsmen; the left-hander Darren Bravo was run out for 4 (off 15 balls) by a Lee direct hit at the bowler’s end from mid on. Bravo didn’t dive and the third wicket fell on 33.
Hopefully, in future, we’ll get to see Nathan Lyon bowl at Darren Bravo; a decent spinner turning the ball away from the bat is always more dangerous. Australia can’t bank on running out Darren Bravo every innings.
David Hussey was smart enough to bowl his off-breaks around the wicket but Captain Watson wasn’t thinking enough to bowl Doherty (the specialist spinner) in the 11th over on a turning pitch instead of in the 16th over.
However, when Doherty did come on, he was hit for three sixes in his first over. A few overs later, Doherty really started to turn the ball.
The West Indies lost their fourth wicket for 97. Dwayne Bravo (32 of 43 balls) was that man. He was out bowled by Christian from an inside edge off one of Christian’s cross-seam deliveries that nipped back and hit the top of off stump from the inside edge.
The score remained on 97 after the fifth wicket of the innings fell. Marlon Samuels was caught at slip by Shane Watson off the bowling of Doherty.
The ball turned sharply across and away from Samuels taking the edge of his bat as he danced down the pitch slogging across the line towards midwicket.
The catch Watson took was wide to his right but he managed to take it with both hands while remaining on his feet. Samuels scored 35 off 58 balls.
Next man in Carlton Baugh survived a first ball LBW shout off Doherty. The fielding team referred it but the result was ‘on field call’ ie it wasn’t out enough to overturn the on-field umpire’s not out decision.
It was only barely clipping the outside of leg-stump. Again, another example that a referral shouldn’t be lost when the result is ‘umpire’s call’ or ‘on field call’.
The score remained still, ie still on 97, when the sixth wicket fell. This time a sweeping Carlton Baugh was given out LBW to Doherty when the ball hit his back leg. The ball would have probably hit middle.
Baugh faced 3 balls for his duck egg. He is not a good sweeper; he kept getting out to spin bowlers sweeping in Bangladesh and India.
The West Indies lost their seventh wicket for 101: Andre Russell given out stumped for 1 run off 4 balls.
It was a classical piece of left-arm spin bowling from Doherty; the ball turned sharply away past Russell’s front foot defensive prod and the keeper Wade completed the stumping efficiently.
However, it wasn’t a classical piece of third umpiring; the stump cam appeared to show batsmen Russell was just behind the crease by about half a centimetre.
It’s not written anywhere in the laws but I dare say that the tradition of the umpire giving the batsmen the “benefit of doubt” has been around longer than great state of Queensland.
This ‘whinging (about bad technique) pom’ has family ties there and thus state chauvinism by association!
The West Indies (mere minutes later) lost their eighth wicket for 103: Kieron Pollard out to a shot that (judging by his bat slamming into the ground reaction) disgusted him far more than this author.
He was caught at mid wicket by a jumping Bailey off a thick inside edge from an attempted drive off a Christian slower ball (pitched on off stump) that did Pollard for lack of pace. The jumping Bailey took the catch high (but relatively easily) above his head. Pollard scored 4 off 11 balls.
The West Indies lost their ninth wicket for 104 when the left-handed number ten Sunil Narine mistimed an attempted front foot six to long-on where Bailey took the easiest of catches at that position.
Fingers were pointed up, Australian style. Narine’s drive was nowhere near the pitch of the ball. Narine was probably done in the flight by Doherty. Narine was out for a duck egg off 3 balls faced.
Narine’s job was to get Sammy on strike with a single yet Narine went for sixer glory. Less selfishness, more discipline was the order of the innings.
At least it should have been. Sammy is a good captain but he can’t be expected to do all the thinking for the side. One can see why Sir Viv Richards gets so angry with the lack of application shown the West Indian batsmen. Sir Viv’s 1980s side epitomised both “discipline and flair,” to quote Chris Cairns.
Seemingly just to break the monotony of falling wickets, Darren Sammy advanced down the pitch to Doherty to hit a good six over long-off.
Later, Doherty at fine leg failed to pick up and thus get to a caught chance off a Brett Lee slower-ball bouncer that was mis-hooked by Sammy. The slower-ball bouncer is a tactic pioneered by England in their T20 World Cup win.
Sammy hit a few more lusty boundaries before he got out. In fact, Sammy’s 36 run 10th wicket partnership off 22 balls with Kemar Roach was the highest 10 wicket partnership against Australia in a ODI.
The West Indies lost their 10th and final wicket on 140 when an advancing Darren Sammy was caught cover off a thick outside edge from an attempted off drive.
Sammy scored a commendable 35 off 20 balls at a point in the game where he was well aware he’d need to get on with it because the number 11, was at the other end. Roach finished 1 not out off 7 balls. The innings lasted just 32 overs and 2 balls. There were seven sundries.
And with that final ‘out’ Australia won this highly forgettable match by 64 runs.
Bowling figures for Australia
Lee 7-11-25-1 econ 3.57
McKay 5-1-25-1 econ 4.13
Watson 4-1-13-0 econ 3.25
D Hussey 2-0-15-0 econ 7.50
Doherty 8-2-49-4 econ 6.13
Christian 6-2-12-2 econ 2.00
George Bailey won the Man of the Match for his 48 runs (off 67 balls) on debut on a slow but uneven and big turning pitch.
So after a poor first innings, Australia got themselves out of gaol with the ball.
In summary, not a good day for West Indies coach Otis Gibson as this day of March 16th is his birthday.
And via the performance of their batsmen (which included losing 6 wickets for 7 runs), it was an even worse day for the standard of first class cricket in the West Indies.
A good example of that is Carlton Baugh who was coming off a recent 140 for Jamaica against Trinidad and Tobago. So Baugh (all on his own in West Indies domestic ‘first class’ cricket) scored the same amount of runs against Trinidad and Tobago as this game’s team total.
Something tells me the Trinidadian bowlers are not quite as good as the Australian ones. And the Australian attack in this game was not a full strength: no Siddle, no Pattinson, no Cummins, no Hilfenhaus, no Lyon.
We need to remember that a big reason why the West Indies batsmen of the late 50s to early 90s were so good was that they had to face their own great bowlers in their domestic Caribbean cricket.
A lot of them also came up through the Lancashire Leagues in England in the 50s and 60s and then in the 70s and 80s they’d be playing first class county cricket in England eg Somerset had Joel Garner and Viv Richards playing for them.
Nearly every West Indian test match player was plying county cricket in the 80s. I don’t think there are any now nor do I think many would be signed up. Pollard plays for Somerset but only in the limited overs stuff.
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