Australia v West Indies, 1st ODI, Perth February 1, 2013

Starc splinters West Indies


Australia 1 for 71 (Maxwell 51*) beat West Indies 70 (Starc 5-20, McKay 3-10) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Twenty years ago, almost to the day, Allan Border won the toss and batted before Curtly Ambrose obliterated Australia at the WACA ground in a spell of 7 for 1. Whirring the ball down with speed and fiendish late swing, Mitchell Starc paid homage by splintering the West Indies in a burst of 4 for 1 to set up a facile nine-wicket victory, achieved with all of 244 balls to spare.

This time it was the touring captain Darren Sammy who paid a heavy price for choosing to bat first on a lively surface. Australia's pitiful 74 against Sri Lanka at the Gabba is no longer the lowest score of the limited-overs summer, it's now the West Indies total of 70 that was only reached after some late-order resistance following an earlier free-fall to 5 for 19. It was the most meagre total in all ODIs between the two countries, extras (17) providing the top score.

Ever the tactical opportunist, Australia captain Michael Clarke promoted Glenn Maxwell to open, and his supercharged half-century ensured the target was gobbled up inside 10 overs. Maxwell crashed 18 from Kemar Roach's first over, and may find himself opening again after such a star-turn. In all, only 33.1 overs were required to complete the match.

Starc finished with 5 for 20, and was given splendid support by Clint McKay and James Faulkner. The two new balls ensured there was movement through the air and off the pitch for the entirety of the West Indies innings, as a succession of batsmen were either bowled or offered catching practice to a well-stocked slips cordon.

Sammy's choice to bat first took his opposite number Clarke by surprise, after Australia had stacked their team with pace bowlers and planned to bowl if successful at the toss. The pitch carried a tinge of grass that suggested it would be at its fastest and most lively.

Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell were soon pushing hopefully at deliveries that seamed and swung away from them at pace, though it was not until the fifth over that a wicket fell. Gayle's recent ODI scores have been underwhelming, but it took a fine ball from McKay to seam across him and take the shoulder of the bat for a catch in the slips cordon.

At the other end Starc was swerving the ball late and with tremendous control, and the ball after Powell drove him to the cover fence began a sequence of destruction that would plainly show that there are few bowlers more dangerous than the fast left-armer moving the ball through the air.

Powell pushed tentatively at a ball slightly shorter than the one he had struck to the fence and offered a catch to Clarke at slip. Ramnaresh Sarwan, in his first international since 2011, was late and crooked on a ball that hooped back into him to spread-eagle the stumps.

Noting the swing on offer, Clarke brought Phillip Hughes in to short leg, and Dwayne Bravo obliged by squeezing a catch to the man just posted. Kieron Pollard's first ball was millimetres away from finding him lbw, and his second arrived too soon for a hesitant push that served only to deflect the ball onto leg stump. Starc had taken 4 for 1 in seven balls.

At 5 for 19, the script for the innings had been largely written, and the remainder could only add nuisance runs as the ball continued to zip about. Faulkner claimed a pair of wickets on debut with a disciplined line, while McKay followed up his earlier incision by dismissing Sammy, who offered only token resistance.

West Indies' plight was best epitomised by Sunil Narine, who groped haplessly at the first five balls of a McKay over before edging the final one into Matthew Wade's gloves. Starc was brought back by Clarke to claim the final wicket, another inswinger plucking out Jason Holder's leg stump.

Maxwell's promotion showed Australia were keen on a quick finish, and his domineering approach worked brilliantly in a scenario where instinct and freedom were rewarded over thoughtful consideration. Some of his shots were bizarre, but most were well struck, leaving Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja very much in his wake. Sammy will think twice before batting first again.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on February 2, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    @Agnihothra on (February 02 2013, 08:27 AM GMT) - I remember those matches, but the pitch had almost nothing physically to do with Starc's figures. The Pitch MAY of had the WIndies spooked, as they don't have that type of pitches at home. Starc got his wickets primarily thru swing.

  • Patrick on February 2, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge, your Eng team has NEVER even won an ODI of any significance, NEVER! Congrats on playing India back to No 1 ODI ranking chump!! WI, Aust, SL are countries that actually win tournaments whereas Eng must be relying on hosting rights to even qualify for the Champions Trophy.

  • Ray on February 2, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Last night, the West Indies won the toss, elected to bat on the lightning-fast wicket in Perth, Australia in their first ODI against the Australians, and were all-out for 70 (see attached report). If I am not mistaken, wasn't the current West Indies tour manager Mr. Ritchie Richardson on that team way back then, when Curtley Ambrose took something like 7 for 1, at the same ground in a Test against Australia? If so, what a managerial failure. But I also recall the West Indies captain Jimmy Adams, winning the toss on a batsman-friendly pitch at Brisbane some years back as well. Between himself and the then West Indies tour manager Mr. Roger Harper, according to them, they detected some moisture in the wicket and decided to put Australia in, and exploit that moisture. Last reports, Australia were still batting in Brisbane. Talk about a failure of leadership in West Indies cricket!

  • Mike on February 2, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    lool!!! where's the crowd? large gaps of seats you're not playing weak teams r anything.

  • j on February 2, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    It's great to see the lower-ranked teams have a good match every so often. Well played Australia, but sterner challenges like Nambia must surely await.

  • Agnihothra on February 2, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    i remember two extremely low scoring ODIS at the WACA, both involving INDIA. in 1985-86 India was out played by NZ and were bowled out for 113. NZ huffed and puffed to that score after losing 7 wkts.

    Another ODI was the famous INDIA - WI tied match (125 all out both teams) in 91-92 when Azhar bowled out his quickies by 40th over and SRT delivered final wicket off the last ball of the 41st over.

    Now was this 2012-13 WACA pitch as juicy as the above ODI pitches?

  • Alex on February 2, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    You should really give up the conspiracy theories True Lankan

  • Wala on February 2, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    Well so much for the legacy that Sammy wants to form. Hope can save a whitewash.

  • Dummy4 on February 2, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    The best Australian bowling this season. Well done Mr. Starc. Bowled perfectly in the conditions ..... but Sammy should never have batted first. I hope that he wins the toss and bats second next time.

    landl47 ..... WOW!!! Clarke's captaincy??? He just did what he was supposed to do instead of what he has been doing for the past 2-months. It was a nice change to see him supporting the bowlers. How many Captains would have set a different field with Starc swinging the ball the way he was. You must have thought that MJ's captaincy was friggin' unbelievably sensational when Australia was 9/40 in Brisbane and you would think that the Captain of my son's cricket team is a prodigy because he set the exact same field last year on a sticky wicket in swinging conditions.

    As for Maxwell .... it was just ugly batting (see PFEL).

  • Shaun on February 2, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    It's good. Aussie team can beat easily WI team and forget the bad ODI and T20 memories with Sri Lankan team. Here is the time them to wake up. But WI is not the world leading ODI team...!