Comfortable Win For West Indies In New Game: Eleven11
West Indies overcame an uncertain start to comfortably beat Australia by seven wickets in a rain-reduced Twenty20 International that was reduced to 11 overs per side in Barbados.
Chasing 98 to win after Australia hit 97 for three, Dwayne Bravo won the match with a six as his side cruised to 102 for three in the penultimate over.
The home side seemed to be doing their best to lose the plot early on in allowing openers Shaun Marsh (29) and Luke Ronchi (36) to race away before they pegged the Australians back late on.
Marsh carried on from where he left off in the IPL and when West Indian captain Bravo either forgot or wasn't informed that there were just three Power Play overs as he kept only two men outside the 30 metre ring for the fourth, Ronchi cashed in with three fours.
Ronchi had already been dropped by Denesh Ramdin and Fidel Edwards' first delivery ended with him on the floor as he slipped in his delivery stride.
It took the introduction of 19-year-old Kemar Roach to turn things, as he had Ronchi caught at long on by Jerome Taylor and then Marsh brilliantly caught by Xavier Marshall as he took two for 29 from three overs.
Bravo also bowled well, picking up the wicket of David Hussey, caught by William Perkins for a duck before Shane Watson (17 not out) and Cameron White (ten not out) hit out late on to take Australia to the brink of a century. Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn bowled cleverly after being asked to open the bowling, better than figures of nought for 19 might suggest.
Marshall then smashed the first ball of the innings from Brett Lee for six, setting the tone for what was to follow.
Mitchell Johnson bowled the next over and he disappeared for 20, Marshall hitting two more sixes and Perkins marked his debut by flipping Lee over wicket-keeper Ronchi for four runs.
After three overs, the West Indies were 51 for nought, and despite both openers being smartly run out by Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting, the hard work had been done.
Marshall needed just 15 balls to hammer 36, Perkins made nine from 11. When Denesh Ramdin (eight) was caught by Johnson off of Watson, Australia might have felt they had a chance, but Bravo saw that that wasn't going to happen.
Bravo's first six came off of an appalling over from White and his second was edged over third man off of Johnson but he save the best until last, launching James Hopes for a maximum over midwicket to lead his side home with an unbeaten 28 from 15 balls.
If questions had been asked of his captaincy earlier when he had allowed the Australians an extra over of Power Play restrictions, he well and truly answered them with his innings.
West Indies won the toss and chose to bowl as with Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul absent, Bravo captained.
Australia handed debuts to Ronchi and Marsh with White and Watson earning recalls while West Indies give debuts to Perkins, Andre Fletcher, and Roach.
Australia won the Test series between the two sides 2-0 and a five-match One Day International series follows.
Xavier Marshall, William Perkins, Andre Fletcher, Keiron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo (captain), Darren Sammy, Denesh Ramdin, Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn, Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach
Shaun Marsh, Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting (captain), Mike Hussey, Cameron White, David Hussey, Shane Watson, James Hopes, Luke Ronchi (wicket-keeper), Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson
© Cricket World 2008