Masterful Australia Overpower West Indies

Australia 179-8 (Warner 49) beat
West Indies 141-8 (Ramdin 44, Nannes 3-21) by 38 runs
First Twenty20 International, Hobart

Australia moved one step closer to an unbeaten home summer with a masterful 38-run victory over the West Indies in the first Twenty20 International at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

They first piled on 179 for eight, with major contributions coming from David Warner, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin and then relied on the pace of Shaun Tait and guile of Dirk Nannes to run through the West Indian top order, leaving them unable to counter.

Australia's 179 for eight thus proved to be more than enough, the tourists closing on 141 for eight.

Warner led the way with the bat by hammering 49 in 32 balls with three fours and two sixes while Watson and Haddin both managed 37, the former dismissed having faced 19 balls and hit four maximums, the latter unbeaten from 16 balls.

In between, no other batsman could pass 15 as Nikita Miller, Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle all grabbed a pair of wickets.

The West Indies had opened the bowling with spinners Miller and Narsingh Deonarine and it didn't do them too many favours. By contrast, Australia stuck to the tried and tested method of giving the faster bowlers the new ball and it reaped dividends when Tait had Chris Gayle bowled for five, Deonarine caught by Watson for a golden duck and then Pollard caught by Haddin for 12.

Left-armer Nannes also had Lendl Simmons caught by Tait for five as the West Indies were left floundering at 26 for four.

Mitchell Johnson then came into the attack and the Caribbean side were quickly 46 for five when Wavell Hinds departed for 11 and then 53 for six when Johnson picked up Smith's wicket for four.

Then came something of a fightback, Runako Morton hitting 40 in 41 balls and Denesh Ramdin 44 in 26 but they had been left with far too much to do - Twenty20 is not the game where teams can afford to lose six wickets in ten overs and win.

The two sides meet again in Sydney on Tuesday 23rd February.

© Cricket World 2010