Australia 259-6 (Watson 135) beat
West Indies 256-9 (Starc 4-29) by 4 wickets
ICC Champions Trophy 2013, Warm-up Match
Good performances from Shane Watson, Mitchell Starc and Clint McKay led Australia to a relatively comfortable warm-up win over the West Indies under the Cardiff floodlights.
Kemar Roach did extract both David Warner and Phil Hughes in his opening over as Australia suffered a nightmare start to their pursuit of the West Indies’ 256 for nine. However, Watson hit a superb 135 off only 98 balls and found enough support from the middle-order to guide them to victory.
His third-wicket partnership with George Bailey (21) was worth 68 but it was the 125 that he shared with Adam Voges for the fourth-wicket that proved to be crucial. Watson dominated the scoring during that stand and ensured that the West Indies weren’t able to keep any control on the run rate. By the time he fell to Tino Best in the 31st over, only 60 were needed. Mitchell Marsh made sure that those were knocked off in the most emphatic fashion possible and finished on 39 off only 19 balls.
West Indies’ new captain Dwayne Bravo suffered the worst of the onslaughts from Watson and Marsh and conceded 44 runs from less than five overs. Best and Roach were also expensive and went at over seven runs per over as the trend of bowlers struggling, that began with the India/Sri Lanka match, continued.
Only Australia’s enjoyed any real success and even then it was only two and it wasn’t because of the two new balls that are expected to prove so vital for success in this year’s competition. Mitchell Starc did strike once early, but Johnson Charles and Darren Bravo both hit half-centuries and added 65 for the second-wicket.
The West Indies middle-order, though, all got in and got out, with Ramnaresh Sarwan (22), Dwayne Bravo (20) and Denesh Ramdin (25) the chief culprits. Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle both declined the opportunity of a game, their absences weakening the batting, but West Indies’ performance was still disappointing other than those of Charles (55) and Darren Bravo (86).
Mitchell Starc and Clint McKay shared seven wickets and were the main causes of the middle-order’s woes. Starc took four for 29 from seven overs and McKay three for 45 from 10. Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner both went wicket-less, but Watson backed up the opening pair well with one for 12 from six overs.
© Cricket World 2013
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