Thrilling WI win squares T20I series
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Fidel Edwards and Marlon Samuels followed up an explosive 63 from Dwayne Smith with purposeful bowling, propelling West Indies to a compelling, 14-run victory over Australia in the second and final Digicel Twenty20 International on Friday.
Edwards and Samuels both grabbed three wickets for 23 runs from their allocation of four overs, as West Indies successfully defended a victory target of 161 to the delight of a near capacity crowd at Kensington Oval.
The match swung decisively West Indies’ way, when Dwayne Bravo’s direct hit from mid-on ran David Warner out for the Australian top score of 58, leaving the visitors needing 63 from 45 balls.
Two wickets apiece for Edwards and Bravo inside the last three overs helped West Indies tighten the grip, as the Aussies lost their last five wickets for 13.
Bravo effectively sealed the victory for West Indies, when he had David Hussey caught at deep mid-wicket for 19 with two balls remaining.
The result meant the hosts levelled the Digicel two-match series 1-1, after they lost the first Digicel T20I by eight wickets three days earlier at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in St. Lucia. It came on the heels of the preceding Digicel One-day International series, which was also tied 2-2.
This followed a thrilling innings from Smith that included six fours and four sixes from 34 balls, dazzling the crowd packed with scores of fellow Barbadians that got their weekend off to an exciting start, as West Indies, choosing to bat, were dismissed for 160 from 19.4 overs.
Smith put on 72 in a hurry with fellow opener Johnson Charles, leaving the Australians shell-shocked at the sheer brutality before an inexplicable batting collapse undermined West Indies.
Edwards then gave West Indies a bright start to their defence, when he had Shane Watson caught at slip for a duck from the final ball of the first over.
But things seemed to take a turn for the worse for West Indies, when Australia captain George Bailey joined Warner, putting on 64 for the second wicket in a volley of strokes.
Samuels, bowling his off-spin darts, made the breakthrough, when he had Bailey caught at deep square leg for 24 in the eighth over, triggering a wobble that saw three wickets fall for 34 in the space of 31 balls.
Samuels also held a firm return catch to dispatch left-hander Mike Hussey for 14 in the 12th over before Warner, whose knock included five fours and three sixes from 43 balls, was run out.
West Indies came under pressure again, when Matt Wade came to the crease and added 35 for the fifth wicket with Hussey, putting the visitors within sight again.
The home team kept their nerve down the stretch, as the asking rate grew, and the Aussies perished trying to climb the mountain.
Bravo ended with two for 27 from his four overs.
Earlier, Smith got into stride with a whip through mid-wicket off James Pattinson for his first boundary in the first over and Charles followed up with a swing behind square leg for his first four two deliveries later.
The two West Indies openers took a toll on Brett Lee in the next over, taking a pair of fours and a six off the fast bowler.
The punishment continued inside the statutory Power Play, reaching its apex when the two Windies openers collected four boundaries – three to Smith – off left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty in the sixth and final over.
Charles was caught at long-off for 37 lofting a delivery from Shane Watson straight in the seventh over before Kieron Pollard was caught behind for one nibbling at a rising delivery from Lee in the next over.
Smith continued to plunder runs, racing to his 50 from 30 balls, when he drove Daniel Christian over long-on for his last six before he was caught at long-on, skying a delivery from Doherty in the 10th over.
West Indies were 110 for three at this stage, but the rest of the batting failed to come to grips with Australia’s steady, if not menacing attack, as the hosts lost their last seven wickets for 40 in 46 deliveries.
Lee was the most successful Australia bowler with three for 23 from 3.4 overs, McKay captured two for 24 from four overs, and Watson took two for 26 from four overs.
The two sides now prepare for the Digicel three-Test series, which opens at the same venue next Saturday, April 7.
Australia face a WICB President’s XI in a three-day, tour match, starting on Monday at the Three Ws Oval.
WEST INDIES (maximum 20 overs)
J. Charles c Christian b Watson 37
D.R. Smith c D. Hussey b Doherty 63
K. Pollard c wkpr Wade b Lee 1
D.J. Bravo c Christian b Watson 23
*D. Sammy b McKay 5
D. Hyatt c *Bailey b McKay 6
M. Samuels c Warner b Christian 2
+C. Baugh c wkpr Wade b Lee 7
S. Narine run out (Bailey) 2
G. Mathurin not out 3
F. Edwards b Lee 0
Extras (lb1, w9, nb1) 11
TOTAL (all out) 160
Fall of wickets: 1-72 (Charles, 6.4 overs); 2-80 (Pollard, 7.6); 3-110 (Smith, 9.4); 4-120 (*Sammy, 12.1); 5-134 (Hyatt, 14.1); 6-140 (Samuels, 15.1); 7-155 (+Baugh, 17.6); 8-155 (D.J. Bravo, 18.1); 9-159 (Narine, 19.2)
Bowling: Pattinson 2-0-34-0 (w2); Lee 3.4-0-23-3; McKay 4-0-24-2 (w1); Doherty 3-0-32-1; Watson 4-0-26-2 (nb1, w2); Christian 3-0-20-1
AUSTRALIA (target: 161 off 20 overs)
D. Warner run out (Bravo) 58
S. Watson c *Sammy b Edwards 0
*G. Bailey c Hyatt b Samuels 24
M. Hussey c and b Samuels 14
D. Hussey c Pollard b D.J. Bravo 19
+M. Wade c and b Samuels 17
D. Christian c *Sammy b Edwards 3
B. Lee b Edwards 0
C. McKay b Bravo 7
J. Patitnson not out 0
X. Doherty not out 2
Extras (w2) 2
TOTAL (9 wkts) 146
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Watson, 0.6 overs); 2-64 (Bailey, 7.3); 3-89 (M. Hussey, 11.5); 4-98 (Warner, 12.3); 5-133 (Wade, 17.4); 6-136 (Christian, 18.1); 7-136 (Lee, 18.2); 8-144 (D. Hussey, 19.4); 9-144 (McKay, 19.5)
Bowling: Edwards 4-0-23-3 (w2); Narine 4-0-33-0; Mathurin 2-0-23-0; *Sammy 1-0-11-0; D.J. Bravo 4-0-27-2; Samuels 4-0-23-3; Pollard 1-0-6-0
Result: West Indies won by 14 runs
Series: Two-match series level 1-1
Toss: West Indies
Man-of-the-Match: D.R. Smith (West Indies)
Man-of-the-Series: S. Watson (Australia)
Umpires: P. Nero, J. Wilson
TV umpire: N. Duguid
Match referee: A. Pycroft
Reserve umpire: G. Brathwaite
● (See detailed scorecard from Cricinfo, http://www.espncricinfo.com/west-indies-v-australia-2012/engine/current/match/540174.html)