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by Sandeep Shivam Monday 27 June 2016
Australia 270-9 (Wade 57no) beatWest Indies 212 (Hazlewood 5-50) by 58 runsFinal, Tri-Series, BarbadosScorecard
Matthew Wade scored a crucial unbeaten 57 and Josh Hazlewood followed it up with a five-wicket haul as Australia defeated West Indies by 58 runs in the final of the tri-series in Barbados.
Australia won the toss and decided to bat first. Usman Khawaja (14) and Aaron Finch (47) scored five boundaries in the first four overs as Australia raced to 28 for naught.
Jason Holder (2-51) provided West Indies with the initial breakthrough after Khawaja edged one to the keeper in the fifth over.
Finch went berserk in the eighth over when he plundered Shanon Gabriel (2-58) for a six and a couple of boundaries. However, Finch's 41-ball stay was cut short by Kieron Pollard (1-33) as he holed out to deep midwicket.
The combination of Carlos Brathwaite (1-32) and Sulieman Benn (1-38) created a strangle around George Bailey (22), who at one stage played 15 consecutive dots.
The pressure eventually had the better of Bailey, who was castled by Brathwaite in the 25th over.Gabriel dealt a major blow to Australia after he dismissed Steven Smith (46) and George Bailey (4) restricting them to 156 for five.
With Mitchell Marsh (32) too departing five overs later, Australia were in deep trouble at 173 for six. But Wade (57 not out) pulled off a brilliant recovery with the lower order.
He added 38 runs with Mitchell Starc (17) and followed it with another 27-run stand with Nathan Coulter-Nile (15) to take Australia to 270 in the 50 overs. He remained unbeaten on 57.
In the chase, Andre Fletcher (9) struggled to get going in his 25-ball stay but Johnson Charles (45) upped the ante when he smashed Josh Hazlewood (5-50) for a six and a four in the seventh over.
The 49-run opening stand came to an end when Fletcher was snared by Hazlewood in the 11th over.
That opened the floodgates for the home team as they lost Darren Bravo (6), Marlon Samuels (6) and Charles between overs 17 and 21.
Kieron Pollard (20) decided to go after Adam Zampa (1-50) in the 26th over, hitting him for a six and a four but it was the leg-spinner, who had the final laugh, having the Trinidad batsman in his next over.
With wickets continuing to tumble and the required run rate climbing high, resistance from Denesh Ramdin (40) and Holder (34) weren't enough as West Indies were bowled out for 212.
The 58-run victory helped Australia to win the tri-series comfortably. Marsh was adjudged the man of the match for his all-round performance while Hazlewood bagged the man of the series award.
© Cricket World 2016