Bridgetown (Barbados): Australia displayedthe composure and assurance of world champions to chase down a target of 283 and advance to the final with a six-wicket victory over the West Indies in the seventh match of the Tri-Nation One-Day International Series at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Tuesday. Marlon Samuels’ first-ever hundred against Australia and a record-breaking partnership with Denesh Ramdin lifted the West Indies to a competitive 282 for eight batting first.
But half-centuries by captain Steven Smith and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, together with a quickfire unbeaten 46 from Glenn Maxwell ensured that the target was reached with eight balls to spare. West Indies and South Africa will now meet in the last preliminary match on Friday with the winners to face the Aussies in Sunday’s final. Smith and Marsh steadied Australia’s effort following the loss of three early wickets with a 122-run fourth-wicket partnership that set the World Cup-holders back on course.
However, when Smith was run out for 78 in the 42nd over, any hopes the West Indies had of claiming the victory that would have eliminated Australia were extinguished by Maxwell. Displaying his full range of unorthodox shots, he crashed five fours and two sixes off just 26 balls to banish any lingering anxiety among his teammates in the dressing room. Marsh was left unbeaten on 79, his mature knock going a long way towards fulfilling a lot of the promise that has been expected of him in Australia’s middle-order. “Mitch played really well all the way through and Glenn was brilliant at the end there,” said a delighted Smith after the match.
“We knew it was challenging target but we always backed ourselves to get home.” It was so different at the halfway point of the match following Samuels’ superb knock, an effort that earned him the “Man of the Match” award. Dismissed off the last ball of the innings for 125 which included 14 fours and two sixes off 134 deliveries, Samuels’ tenth one-day hundred followed a match-winning 92 in the last meeting between the two teams in St Kitts a week earlier. (MORE) AFP
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook