The West Indies' odd choice to bat first on a lively pitch amounted to nothing more than their third lowest ODI score – and a humiliating nine-wicket defeat – in Friday's series opener at the WACA in Perth on Friday.
The West Indies' odd choice to bat first on a lively pitch amounted to nothing more than their third lowest ODI score – and a humiliating nine-wicket defeat – in Friday's series opener in Perth on Friday.
Australian captain Michael Clarke was visibly taken by surprise after his opposite number Darren Sammy's decision afforded the hosts' seamers the first go on a green-tinged WACA deck.
Left-armer Mitchell Starc duly grabbed at the early opportunity, screaming to career-best figures of five for 20 – thanks to a superb display of seam and swing bowling.
Right-armer Clint McKay and debutant James Faulkner, shared the remaining five wickets to complete the rout, which left the tourists all out for a mere 70 in 23.5 overs – a meager tally not seen since their 54 all out against South Africa in 2004 and 61 all out against Bangladesh in 2011.
Only three West Indians reached double figures on Friday, with Sammy's defiant 16 as good as it got in an otherwise abysmal start to the five-match series.
The left-handed Chris Gayle's shaky run of form continued with a paltry four, with the opener out to a sensational diving catch by slip fielder Aaron Finch. The veteran Ramnaresh Sarwan, meanwhile, marked his return to the international fold with a three-ball duck.
The Australians, namely all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, were merciless in their pursuit of a very modest target. Promoted to the top of the knock amid an obvious ploy for a quick finish, the right-hander clubbed nine fours and a couple of handsome sixes in his 51 not out off 35 balls.
Finch's departure, at least, afforded debutant Windies fast bowler Jason Holder some marginal consolation, with the left-handed Usman Khawaja soon at hand to strike the winning single a mere 9.2 overs into the chase.
Starc was named Man of the Match for his prolific haul, while Sammy was decisive in his demand of a quick turnaround ahead of Sunday's second fixture at the same venue.
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