Australia v West Indies, 1st ODI, Perth

Starc splinters West Indies

Daniel Brettig

February 1, 2013

Comments: 142 | Text size: A | A

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

Mitchell Starc in follow-through, Australia v West Indies, 1st ODI, Perth, February 1, 2013
Mitchell Starc swung the ball venomously late © Getty Images
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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.

Innings Dot balls 4s 6s PP1 PP2 PP3 Last 10 overs NB/Wides
West Indies 120 6 0 26-5 - - - 0/6
Australia 36 11 2 71-1 (9.2) - - - 0/2

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

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Posted by Meety 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.

Posted by pat_one_back 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.

Posted by yoadie 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!

Posted by Energetic. on (February 2, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

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

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge 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.

Posted by 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?

Posted by mateyman on (February 2, 2013, 8:02 GMT)

You should really give up the conspiracy theories True Lankan

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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