Australia easily defeated the West Indies by 58 runs in the finals of the Ballr Tri-series at Kensington Oval last night, to underline their status as world champions.
A fighting unbeaten 57 from Matthew Wade led a recovery which took the Australians from 173 for six to an eventual 270 for nine of their 50 overs and the West Indies were dismissed for 212 in 45.4 overs.
The regional team egged on by a crowd of 5500, started their reply brightly and reached 49 without loss but opener Andre Fletcher ran down the pitch for no apparent reason and lost his wicket to open up the innings for the Australians to attack.
And attack they did, as fast bowler Mitchell Marsh using clever change of pace and lateral movement, ripped out three crucial scalps including Darren Bravo (6) and Marlon Samuels (6) to put the skids and Josh Hazelwood sealed the fate of the home team by grabbing 5/50 later on. Opener Johnson Charles played a bold hand of 45 in 61 balls with four fours and a six but stood at the non-strikers end to see the rout. Later in the innings Denesh Ramdin got 40 of 67 balls with two fours and a six but that was as much to write home about.
Earlier, Australia won the toss and trusting that the pitch would slow down and assist the spinners later on, decided to take first strike.
They got off to a blinder as an obvious attack on Shannon Gabriel was launched. The strapping Trinidadian was carted all around the park as Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja rattled off the runs.
Skipper Holder, on the other end, was bowling just back of a length and creating problems. He got the first strike sending back Khawaja for 14 in the fifth over.
Smith joined Finch and the runs flowed. With Gabriel struggling, Holder introduced Keiron Pollard who struck in his first over. Finch pulled him into the waiting hands of Marlon Samuels at mid-wicket for 47 with the score on 69. The right hander faced 41 balls, hitting six fours and a six.
A lot depended on Smith and with the run rate consistently over five runs an over, Holder needed wickets.
He returned to ‘shock’ bowler Gabriel from the Joel Garner End and he delivered a double blow. Smith was beaten for pace going for a pull which was taken by Samuels at mid-on and Glenn Maxwell was trapped leg before for four. Smith made 46 of 59 balls with four hits to the fence.
Left arm spinner Sulieman Benn bowling with a nice loop all afternoon forced a solid looking Mitchell Marsh play on for 32 as Australia lost their third wicket in the space of 21 runs.