Bailey, Starc ensure two-nil series lead
Batsman George Bailey's maiden century and fast bowler Mitchell Starc's second five-wicket haul in as many matches brought Australia a comfortable victory over the West Indies in Sunday's second ODI at the WACA in Perth.
Batsman George Bailey's maiden century and fast bowler Mitchell Starc's second five-wicket haul in as many matches brought Australia a comfortable victory over the West Indies in Sunday's second ODI at the WACA.
Visiting skipper Darren Sammy again won the toss, but this time wisely opted to bowl first on a Perth track considerably less green and lively than the one that resigned them to a mere 70 all out in the series opener on Friday.
Sammy's choice, despite some promising inroads initially, ultimately resulted in another big defeat – and a daunting two-nil deficit in the five-match affair ahead of tough fixtures in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne next week.
Bailey's ton was at the fore of a final total of 266 for seven, which would have read considerably worse had the belligerent right-hander not rescued his beloved country from the perils posed by 98 for six.
With all-rounders James Faulkner and Mitchell Johnson under his nurturing wing, the experienced 30-year-old delivered on cue – and might have sealed Australia's ODI Cricketer of the Year accolade to be handed out at the Allan Border Medal awards ceremony on Monday.
Tentative at the start, Bailey constructed his innings in methodical fashion, with a flurried finish taking him to a 125 not out from 110 deliveries, 10 boundaries and a quartet of handsome sixes included.
Faulkner and Johnson, meanwhile, weighed in to the tune of 39 and 16 not out – in a collective example of success where a fragile top order had failed. The former shared a 100-run alliance alongside Bailey inside 21 overs, and the latter an unbroken 68-run stand inside six overs with the centurion.
The West Indians were reasonably diligent in their approach, though will rue their inability to finish the job after a very fruitful start. Sammy, leading by example, was the pick of the five-man attack – in finishing with figures of three for 48.
The tourists' pursuit endured a fragile start, with opener Chris Gayle again out cheaply and the veteran Ramnaresh Sarwan the unfortunate recipient of a second duck for the series.
Starc removed both men, and added to his haul the scalps of Darren Bravo, Kiernan Powell and Devon Thomas to complete figures of five for 32. While he was beaten to the Man-of-the-Match award by Bailey, Starc will take great pride in combined figures of 10 for 52 in the two Perth fixtures.
Powell was the lone defiant factor during the chase. A career-best 83 rectified an otherwise fragile innings, with Dwayne Bravo's steady 45 affording the attacking half-centurion good measure.
The collective economy accrued by seamers Clint McKay, Faulkner and Johnson, though, always had the asking rate increasing. The Windies were never really able to answer, despite tail-ender Sunil Narine's four sixes in a row off spinner Glenn Maxwell.
Maxwell was deft in striking back from Narine's late onslaught, completing figures of four for 63 – to marginally justify the million-dollar contract the Mumbai Indians gifted him at Sunday's Indian Premier League player auction.
All out for 212 in just 38 overs and a ball, the West Indians will know full well Gayle and Sarwan have to find form – and soon – if they are able to turn the tables on their opposition and beyond in Canberra and beyond.
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