Prime Minister's XI v West Indians, Canberra January 29, 2013

Hosts win despite Russell fireworks


Prime Minister's XI 6 for 333 (Doolan 87, Khawaja 69, Dean 51, Narine 2-32) beat West Indians 310 (Powell 92 retired hurt, Sarwan 63, Russell 54, Faulkner 4-54) by 23 runs

James Faulkner's composure with the ball followed up an attractive batting collective to deliver victory for the Prime Minister's XI by 23 runs over the West Indians in an entertaining tour match at Manuka Oval. Faulkner's wickets closed out a chase that threatened at the start via Kieran Powell and found late life through the muscular hitting of Andre Russell.

Alex Doolan's fluent 87 had been the most substantial of a series of handy scores by the hosts to ensure a bounteous total on the friendliest of pitches, Usman Khawaja also showing himself to be in decent touch, after the local batsman Jono Dean had swung lustily from his first ball.

Apart from the Man of the Match Faulkner, Fawad Ahmed's leg breaks and the finger spin of Ashton Turner were important through the middle of the innings, though the PM's XI did not help their cause with some indifferent fielding for long tracts of the pursuit. Powell's innings was ended by cramp and Russell also appeared to pick up a limp before the end of his flashy contribution, leaving the visiting captain Darren Sammy with some issues at hand before the first ODI against Australia on Friday.

If the West Indian bowlers had shown evidence of some cobwebs in the afternoon, the batsmen were more fluent in search of their distant target. As a crowd of 9583 basked in Manuka's new floodlights, Powell and Johnson Charles enjoyed the fast medium of Alister McDermott in particular, and it was a surprise when a too-sharp single to Khawaja had Charles run out with the tally at 83 inside 12 overs.

Powell's innings was impressively sure-footed until he pulled up dramatically with apparent cramp in a calf, the tourists reasoning it better that he seek the refuge of the dressing room rather than trying to bat on without a runner. This offered the PM's XI a way of disrupting the West Indian innings, and the spin bowlers Ahmed and Turner succeeded in restricting the flow of runs, though dropped catches prevented them from doing full justice to their figures.

Playing his first match in West Indian colours since 2011, Ramnaresh Sarwan was conservative as wickets fell around him. Darren Bravo was outsmarted by Ahmed and pouched in the deep, Dwayne Bravo fooled by a back of the hand slower ball from Faulkner and bowled, before Kieron Pollard and Sammy both miscued attempts to clear the boundary.

Russell showed better touch, and kept his side in loose touch with a flurry of hits - including one held expertly by a spectator clad in orange at deep midwicket - that served also to disfigure Turner's analysis. When Sarwan departed to another Faulkner slower ball, this time taken at long on, Russell was on his own, and the chase petered out as the PM's XI steadied in the field after their earlier profligacy.

Ricky Ponting's success at the toss had given the hosts first use of a Manuka surface almost totally void of assistance for the fast bowlers in the way of either bounce or movement. Against touring pace men finding their range after the long journey from the Caribbean, Dean took appropriate advantage with a rollicking innings that left Khawaja quite happy to ride in his partner's slipstream.

Dean's departure when he failed to clear long-off brought Doolan to the middle, and with Khawaja he consolidated the rapid start, the rate slackening only marginally when Narine's crafty spin was introduced to the bowling attack. Both batsmen played attractively without straining for effect, looking neat and compact in the manner of the prospective Test batsmen that they have been considered for most of this summer.

There was a brief wobble in the innings when, after Khawaja's departure, Ponting and Handscomb fell in consecutive balls to Narine, who earned his wickets while twirling down his variations with notable accuracy. But Doolan hung around until the tally was well past 250, perishing to an outstanding snare by Charles at square leg, before Brad Haddin and Faulkner delivered punchy cameos to vault their side comfortably beyond 300, and ultimately the reach of the tourists.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on February 1, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    @ hyclass on (January 30 2013, 07:57 AM GMT) - Khawaja deserves his spot in the Oz team. In the 1st ODI he was brilliant in the field against the WIndies & made a classy innings too!

  • Andrew on February 1, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    @Allan_Stephens on (January 30 2013, 13:25 PM GMT) - he is in as a replacement. Sort of bit like the last man standing. IMO - he is much better off playing for QLD to ensure that he is right for the tour of India. @hyclass on (January 30 2013, 05:53 AM GMT) - some of the spit-personalities have claimed on different articles to have been at the Manuka Oval as well.

  • Allan on January 30, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    @Hyclass Khawaja has been named in the Perth ODIs for Warner, so obviously he is doing something right, any comment on that. I am sure you will be waiting for him to fail so you can have another spray at him rather then support a youngster trying to make his mark, both him and Hughes are the future of our batting lineup

  • Mariam on January 30, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    A left field one. But how about Zampa to go on tour, just for the nets practice for all involved. O'Keefe's figures last week were very impressive and would be the second spinner in my books. Khawaja surely gets the nod to replace Hussey. Give Khawaja a chance to learn how to play test cricket. All-rounder... that's a tricky one. No-one knocking down the door. Maxwell's 4 day game experience hardly works in his favour, and I can't see how Henriques is a better cricketer than Usman, Bailey, Hussey or even O'Keefe. They may all be specialists, but surely you pick the best XI cricketers for the conditions. That probably means two spinners. And Hyclass Khawaja is a great player and would love to see your reaction when he smokes them in India. Like it or not mate he is in the squad tomorrow so get used to it.

  • Phil on January 30, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    @Hyclass bottom line is that we need six specialist batsmen. Not half baked all-rounders. It would also help if our six specialist batsmen also happened to be the six best batsmen we've got. In that case you have to have Khawaja in there. If we want purely the best batsmen then you'd have to think a line up of Rogers, Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke and then maybe Burns is the way to go. I say Burns because he's on par with any other options but at least he has youth on his side and a big future ahead of him.Having an all-rounder for the sake of it is a waste. We don't need the extra bowler as our bowling is our strength. Our four best bowlers can take 20 wickets. Our batting is our fundamental weakness and needs to be bolstered. And yes Khawaja until the most recent shield game(which he didn't play) was 2nd on shield tally, 3rd in Ryobi, boof deserves alot of credit for it.

  • Christopher on January 30, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    @Rohit_Pande or whichever of the more than dozen profile names you use, you actually are, Khawaja is 10th in Shield Ave this season, 12th in BBL ave and 10th in Ryobi Cup ave. His 12/13 Shield season ave is 39.81. He made 0 & 8 from 39 balls last Shield game. He dropped a catch in this festival match & was outplayed by a club player,ran himself out by not grounding his bat in the ODI in which he made 3 & looked poor doing it. His Test ave from 6 Tests is 29 at the glacial S/R of 39. He has 12 combined innings for Australia for 266 runs at 26.6 at a S/R in the mid 30's. Hardly inspiring stuff.His Shield ave has plummeted from 54 two seasons ago to 43. Unlike most players, he wasn't invited to play for QLD-he had to ask-hardly surprising given his ave of 29 for NSW the previous season. He was criticised publicly by the Chairman of Selectors for his lack of urgency in the field and running, then proved him right. Khawaja can play but needs to show resilience and score hundreds. That's all

  • Rahul on January 30, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Khawaja is a superstar and Hyclass you are well off the mark. Khawaja is potentially a star test batsman in the making. I've been watching cricket now for over 30 years and I think I can pick a player with talent. Anyone with any cricket nous can see that Khawaja has that talent.,which makes me wonder about the national selectors competence. Seems to me they've done everything to stop this kid from having an opportunity to prove his case, The Australian selectors have been choosing a bunch of reasonably good first class cricketers ahead of this kid and what do they have to show for it. Australia is hardly abounding with batting wealth at present. If we still had Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Clarke, M.Waugh and Hussey in the batting line up, I could well understand Khawaja missing out. BUT WE DONT. We have a few potentially outstanding young batsman so Khawaja must the man for Mike Hussey in India

  • Christopher on January 30, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    This match is listed as,'Other OD'. That means that it doesn't qualify as either 1st class or as List A. Runs and wickets in this game are deemed to be,'not of standard' and are not included in player stats. A club player excelled. Enough said.

  • Ronald on January 30, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    @ are right. Khawaja is a risk in the Aust side. His domestic form was also good when he was selected for Aust a couple of years ago but he failed & there is no reason the think he won't fail again. His form in domestic cricket is also somewhat inconsistant. He probably deserves to be in the squad but he should'nt be an automatic selection in the walk-on side.

  • Mariam on January 30, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    Hyclass you are the most negative person I have seen on this site, but i guess you are negative about other players too so i won't bother trying to convince you. We just lost Ponting and M.Hussey and Watson is more fragile than ever. It is obvious that Hughes and Khawaja are miles ahead of everyone else, but the NSP is pushing (through the media) Maxwell, Steve Smith and Bailey as a specialist bat. Nevermind that Hussey is pure class and needs to be replaced with class, which is why Khawaja is the man for the job. Khawaja in some way suffers from the fact that he is such a calm, relaxed batsman (consider his first test appearance). I think people mistake this for a lack of desire or lack of effort or grit when in fact he is a very hard worker as seen from his fielding improvements this year. Also I think that his career choices (England stint and QLD shift) speak against this. And Hyclass unlike you Shaggy076 at least makes reasonable comments, look at his squad list in other article

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