In-depth match review: West Indies square the ODI series
The West Indies have taken out the second match of the one day international series in the Caribbean, comfortably defeating Australia by five wickets. The West Indies, one nil down in the series, were also looking to avoid their 14th straight ODI defeat to Australia.
It is testament to how good the West Indies used to be that the historical record between the two sides is still quite close. From 126 matches, the West Indies have had 57 wins to Australia’s 64. There have been two tied matches and three no results.
Australia were five overs into the 50 over game before god decided he prefers the 40 over format. As per usual, he sent down rain rather than make a personal appearance.
But in all seriousness, the 40 over format [which crowds prefer in English domestic cricket] would have made it easier for the devout West Indian supporters to go to church and not be late for the cricket. In the past, Sunday was a rest day during Test matches in the Caribbean.
Australia lost their first wicket for 19: the left-handed Warner (13 off 20) was bowled by Roach from a ball that kept very low – about six inches lower than it should have been, according to the ball tracking technology in use.
Australia lost their second wicket for 19: Peter Forest (0 of 3) was caught by Darren Sammy at second slip off the sneaky-fast Roach. Forrest was stuck in the crease and he fenced away from his body at a good length ball. Facing Roach, the Australians were rushed and tentative, indicating that he may be quicker than the speed gun states.
Otherwise, maybe there’s something about his action that makes it harder for the batsmen to pick up the ball. By the end of the Test series, we’ll see if they’ve got used to his action or whether it was “just” his skiddy pace that was causing the problem. Maybe it will be a bit of both.
Australia were 3 down for 46 after Shane Watson front foot flicked a Darren Sammy slow ball towards midwicket. He was caught comfortably by the substitute fielder Bishoo (on for Pollard).
Tony Cozier made an amusing comment on the arm whirling/circling powerplay gesture that umpires use: he feels it would be more appropriate for the umpire to show his muscles and flex them. I’ll add to that by saying that I’d love to see Billy Bowden do a powerplay bicep flex.
Always theatrical, I’m sure Billy would really get in to it. He could maybe adopt a “Rodin’s Thinker” type pose, with flexed bicep and fist on chin rather than pondering philosophical fingers.
In the 16th over, Hussey was dropped on nine by Pollard at point off the bowling of Sammy. Perhaps, if Pollard had stayed off, sub Bishoo would have taken the catch in his stead. Of course, it needs to be said that Pollard usually has very safe hands. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been fielding at point – a position made famous by great fieldsmen such as Chris Lewis, Jonty Rhodes, Paul Collingwood and Ricky Ponting.
In the 18th over, Narine came on and got more turn than in the first ODI. Bowling over the wicket, Narine beat the outside edge of lefthander Michael Hussey with a beauty of an offspinner. Thus, an aware Sammy (after only seeing two balls) brought himself into slip to accompany Dwayne Bravo. Sammy didn’t go to second slip; he put himself at first thus moving Bravo from first to second.
Although Narine scrambles the seam, he gets a lot of turn. Thus the batsmen can’t look at the seam as it travels through the air to gain any clue as to what might happen when the ball pitches.
Looking at Narine’s bowling action, the thought “like Harbhajan but good” springs to mind.
On commentary, Geoff Lawson opined that the pitch was playing like the SCG in the 1980s; plenty of turn and requiring patience and a good technique to score runs.
Australia lost their fourth wicket for 77: Michael Hussey (24 of 52 balls) was well caught by keeper Carlton Baugh off the mystery spinner Narine. In the context of an ODI game, the ball was there to drive in order to get the then anaemic run rate up.
Broader point: that above dismissal was yet another example of how the preponderance of lefthanders [or more accurately; natural right-armers with parents smart enough to (presumably) make them bat top/left-handed - think Trescothick, Graham Thorpe, Chris Gayle, Warner, Stuart Broad, M Hussey, Brian Lara, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul etc] in the game has brought quality off-spinners into the game licking their lips.
For example, Graham Swann has a Test match bowling average of under 23 against left-handers but over 30 against right-handers. So if you’ve not got an offspinner, and you’re on a flat pitch, with no swing, it’s extremely hard to get quality lefthanders out. You can see why Bill O’Reilly hated their guts.
Australia lost their fifth wicket on 109. Bailey (21 off 26 balls) mistimed a cut (off the top of his bat) and was caught easily at cover point off the bowing of Dwayne Bravo.
Australia lost their next wicket on 121. Christian (6 off 11) was run out (by two metres) due to too much hesitation (a “yeah, mate” “no, mate” interlude) from both batsmen. He was run out by Kemar Roach at square leg, with a fast pickup and flat throw to the keeper’s end.
As soon as the lefthander Wade came to the crease, captain Sammy had two slip catchers waiting for him because Wade was about to face Narine, the mystery offspinner.
Australia lost their seventh wicket on 136. Wade was out…somehow. Unfortunately, there was a loss of satellite signal. Sky Sports apologised.
Australia lost their eighth wicket on the same score. David Hussey (37 of 62 balls) was out chopping on a ball that turned so much it was Murali-esque. Hussey didn’t do much wrong: it was the right attacking shot given that Lee was at the other end, there were only two overs left and at that stage Australia’s total was looking pretty paltry – even given the tough-scoring nature of the pitch. The crowd were literally jumping: TV cameras fixated on a plethora of plump women bouncing up and down. A great party atmosphere despite the overcast conditions.
Kieran Powell dove but just failed to get to a skied Lee extra-cover drive from the second ball of the final over. Baugh then missed a leg-side stumping of McKay however, this was rectified next ball.
McKay was out stumped on the offside by Baugh off Narine, who got past McKay’s wildly swinging outside edge with a quickly (98.3 KPH) bowled but big turning “carrom ball” flicked out of the front of his hand ala Mendis.
The fact Narine got his carrom ball to turn so much, gives a good idea just how much assistance there was in the pitch for the finger spinner. Narine definitely puts more revs on his carrom ball than R Ashwin puts on his … erm … Japanese puzzle sounding “S ball”. I don’t know if Ashwin in claiming “simultaneous creation” as a legal defence (in the court of public opinion), but I’d convict him of plagiarising Mendis’s carrom ball and trying to pass it off as his own.
And with that ninth Australian wicket, the X-man came to the crease, Xavier Doherty. However, he failed to perform double-sixer superheroics with the bat: he scored 0 off 2 balls instead.
And thus Australia’s innings closed on nine for 154 after 40 overs of this rain shortened game.
The West Indies bowled well to restrict a team to fewer than four runs an over. Here are their bowling figures (overs-maidens-runs-wickets).
8-1-27-4 econ 3.38 Sunil Narine
8-3-23-2 econ 2.88 Kemar Roach
4-0-19-1 econ 4.97 Darren Sammy
6-0-30-1 econ 5.00 Dwayne Bravo
6-0-14-0 econ 2.33 Andre Russell
4-0-18-0 econ 4.50 Kiron Pollard
4-0-18-0 econ 4.50 Marlon Samuels
THE WEST INDIAN RUN CHASE:
After the Duckworth-Lewis calculations, West Indies were set 158 to win. The target was adjusted upwards because the Australians’ first five overs of batting (before the rain intervened and shortened the match) were in the context of a slower paced 50 over innings as opposed to a higher paced 40 over affair.
West Indies lost their first wicket on 0: Powell out LBW bowled Lee. Powell offered no shot to a ball that swung back in and would have crashed into middle stump.
West Indies lost their second wicket on 42. Samuels (20 off 37 balls) was yorked by a Watson slower ball off-stump yorker (117.2 KPH).
West Indies lost their third wicket on 76: Charles (26 off 37 balls). Johnson cut the ball down to Brett Lee at third man, ran the first run hard, and saw Lee slip. However Darren Bravo wanted none of the second run and sent Charles back who had already run half the length of the pitch before he ran back.
Lee was on the ground, yet still managed to get a good enough throw in to the bowler’s end, where Christian completed the run out.
West Indies lost their fourth wicket on 74: the left-handed Darren Bravo (16 off 27 balls) played the ball on to middle stump from an extravagant attempted extra-cover drive. Doherty was the left-arm orthodox spinner bowling around the wicket to the lefthander; he got the ball to turn back into Darren Bravo to get the inside edge back on to the stumps.
West Indies lost their fifth wicket on 138: Dwayne Bravo (30 off 48) run out (Wade) after being sent back by Pollard.
Carlton Baugh swept Doherty for six over midwicket meaning the West Indies achieved their first victory over Australia since October 2006.
The West Indies team score was 5-163 after the Baugh six to win the game chasing down the D/L adjusted target of 158. The West Indies won the game with an over and four balls to spare.
The ODI series is now 1-1 with 3 to play.
Pollard finished unbeaten on 47 (with four sixes) off 61 balls and Baugh finished unbeaten on 18 off 17 balls. There were six extras.
Australian bowling figures:
8-1-37-1 econ 4.63 Lee
8-2-16-0 econ 2.00 McKay
7-1-28-1 econ 4.00 Watson
3-0-13-0 econ 4.33 D Hussey
5-0-26-0 econ 5.20 Christian
7.2-0-39-1 econ 5.32 Doherty
Nathan Lyon … oh yes, the Australians decided not to play him on a turning pitch. I can’t think why if he’s supposed to be so good.
Sunil Narine won Man of the Match for his 4-27. Whether or not he is the next Ajmal, only time with tell, but he’s on the right track.
I look forward to seeing him in England bowling to my favourite batsman: Alastair Cook (19 hundreds at age 26).
By the way, anybody know how Wade got out?