Australia secures ODI series victory after West Indies' batting failures

By Sports Desk July 26, 2021

Australia's bowlers starred as the tourists cruised to a six-wicket victory to seal a 2-1 ODI series win over the West Indies in Barbados on Monday.

The West Indies, who were looking for their first bilateral men’s ODI series win against Australia since 1995, were skittled for 152 with pace pair Mitchell Starc (43-3) and Josh Hazlewood (18-2) dominating again.

Opening batsman Evin Lewis offered the only resistance with 55* from 66 balls, having recovered from an early edge to the helmet, with no other West Indian scoring higher than 18.

Starc claimed the key wicket of West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard for 11 caught by Ashton Turner, as the hosts slumped to 75-6 when Adam Zampa bowled Jason Holder for 5.

Player of the Match Ashton Agar (31-2) was crucial with the early wickets of Shai Hope and Darren Bravo, before playing a steadying role with the bat.

Agar (19*) combined with Matthew Wade (51* from 52 balls), after Australia had been mildly concerned at 99-4 following Alex Carey's dismissal for 35, to finish the job with 117 balls to spare.

Wade delivered some lusty blows including a six which landed on top of the Greenridge-Haynes Stand, finishing with five fours and two sixes.

POLLARD RUES "ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS" CONDITIONS

Pollard lamented the West Indies' batting performance again, having scored only 123 in the first ODI of the series at the same venue, but slammed the "absolutely ridiculous" pitch in Bridgetown.

The West Indies struggled throughout with the bat, with a run rate of 3.36, managing only nine fours and six sixes, compared to Australia's run rate of 5.01 in pursuit.

Runs were in no short supply for Pollard's side in the 4-1 T20I series win in Saint Lucia which preceded the ODIs.

"Coming from the T20 series, the difference in the strokeplay was evident," Pollard said. "Coming here to Barbados, I think both teams struggled on the pitch and I think that's unacceptable for international cricket.

"We're not going to make excuses. We accept that we batted badly but I don't think the scores that we have gotten in this three-match series, with two top international teams, I think that's very embarrassing. Coming from St Lucia to this, I think it's absolutely ridiculous."

"GROUP EFFORT" FROM AUSSIES

Starc finished the three-game ODI series with the most wickets, claiming 11 dismissals, including a five-wicket haul in the opener and was rewarded with the Player of the Series award.

Stand-in skipper Carey finished with the most runs in the series with 112, while Agar's Player of the Match gong was the first of his ODI career.

Carey said: "Fantastic group effort. I thought the bowlers did a great job, I thought there were some good innings throughout the series.

"It was a little bit ugly tonight but you've got to get a total like that a bit ugly when the wicket is doing a fair bit."

Australia had lost seven of their last 10 men’s ODIs played away from home, but showed their quality in 50-over cricket with the series victory.

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