Masterful Samuels lifts Windies to key win
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC):
Enigmatic right-hander Marlon Samuels produced a classy knock, but perished within reach of his 10th one-day international hundred, as West Indies rebounded in the Tri-Nations Series with a clinical four-wicket victory over Australia here late yesterday evening.
Set 266 for victory at Warner Park, West Indies hardly put a foot wrong as they chased down the target to get home in the 46th over, with Man of the ”Match Samuels stroking 92 from 87 deliveries.
Opener Johnson Charles chipped in with 48 from 38 balls, left-hander Darren Bravo carved out 39, while Denesh Ramdin struck 29 and opener AndrÈ Fletcher a run-a-ball 27.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa was Australia's best bowler with two for 53.
West Indies' victory bid was buttressed by three key partnerships. Charles and Fletcher put on a scorching 74 for the first wicket, before Samuels and Bravo added a further 82 for the third wicket.
Samuels then anchored a crucial 73-run fourth-wicket stand with Ramdin, which put the regional side within touching distance of their target.
Well perched on 240 for four in the 41st over, West Indies lost three quick wickets for 14 runs in the space of 18 deliveries, as an air of nervousness crept into the camp.
Kieron Pollard settled the nerves, however, smashing a four and a six in scoring 16 not out off 12 deliveries, as West Indies won their second game of the tournament to move into second spot on eight points.
Sent in earlier, Australia were powered by opener Usman Khawaja's top score of 98, as they reached 265 for seven off their 50 overs.
Captain Steve Smith struck 74, while George Bailey got 55, but the remainder of the batting struggled to come to terms with the Windies attack.
Slow medium bowler Kieron Pollard (2-32) and seamers Jason Holder (2-44) and Carlos Brathwaite (2-60) all claimed two wickets apiece.
U Khawaja run out 98
A Finch c Benn b Holder 0
*S Smith c & b Brathwaite 74
G Bailey c wkp Ramdin b Pollard 55
M Marsh c Holder b Brathwaite 16
T Head c wkp Ramdin b Pollard 1
+M Wade b Holder 5
J Faulkner not out 4
N Coulter-Nile not out 1
Extras (lb2, w9) 11
TOTAL (7 wkts, 50 overs) 265
Did not bat: A Zampa, J Hazlewood.
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Finch, 0.4 overs), 2-171 (Smith, 34.1), 3-196 (Khawaja, 40.5), 4-245 (Marsh, 46.5), 5-249 (Head, 47.5), 6-257 (Wade, 49), 7-259 (Bailey, 49.2)
Bowling: Holder 10-0-44-2 (w1), Taylor 5-0-31-0, Narine 10-0-44-0, Brathwaite 10-0-60-2, Benn 9-0-52-0 (w2), Pollard 6-0-32-2 (w2).
J Charles lbw b Zampa 48
A Fletcher c Bailey b Faulkner 27
DM Bravo c wkp Wade b Zampa 39
M Samuels run out 92
+D Ramdin b Coulter-Nile 29
K Pollard not out 16
*J Holder c wkp Wade b Coulter-Nile 0
C Brathwaite not out 3
Extras (lb3, w9) 12
TOTAL (6 wkts, 45.4 overs) 266
Did not bat: S Narine, S Benn, J Taylor
Fall of wickets: 1-74 (Fletcher, 9.5 overs), 2-85 (Charles, 13.4), 3-167 (Bravo, 30.5), 4-240 (Samuels, 40.4), 5-254 (Ramdin, 43.2), 6-254 (Holder, 43.4)
Bowling: Hazlewood 9-0-46-0, Coulter-Nile 9.4-0-67-2 (w4), Faulkner 6-0-31-1, Head 6-0-29-0 (w1), Marsh 8-0-30-0, Zampa 7-0-60-2.
Result: West Indies won by four wickets.
Points: West Indies 4, Australia 0.
Man of the Match: Marlon Samuels.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite, Richard Illingworth; TV - Nigel Llong.