West Indies v Australia, 2nd ODI, St Vincent March 18, 2012

West Indies end five-year drought

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West Indies 163 for 5 in 38.2 overs (Pollard 47*) beat Australia 154 for 9 in 40 overs (David Hussey 37, Narine 4-27) by five wickets on D/L method
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kieron Pollard blazed West Indies to a first ODI victory over Australia since 2006, his stand with Dwayne Bravo swallowing up the tourists' modest total in a rain-affected match at the Arnos Vale Ground.

Set the Duckworth/Lewis-adjusted target of 158 from 40 overs after holding Australia to 154 for 9, the hosts made the worst possible start when Kieran Powell shouldered arms to Brett Lee's first ball of the innings and was palpably lbw. But from an uncertain 74 for 4, Pollard and Dwayne Bravo constructed the most assured stand of the match, and took West Indies to a deserved win with five wickets and 11 balls to spare.

Pollard's innings was punctuated by three sixes in one critical four-over burst, and it was a spell of scoring that would prove decisive. He saved a fourth for the closing stages of the chase, swinging Doherty over midwicket with such force that the ball clanged off the roof of a stand and bounded out of the ground.

Bravo was run out before the end, the final few runs collected a little nervously, but there was no doubting the importance of his contribution to a West Indian victory that ended a 14-match run without a win against Australia. Though Doherty and Clint McKay bowled diligently for the visitors, they had been given too few runs to defend. The five-match series is now level at one apiece.

The wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh landed the final blows, and with Chris Gayle celebrating in the stands amid speculation of a possible compromise between the former captain and the WICB, the hosts' prospects for this series looked far brighter than they had on Friday.

Sent in to bat as much because of the threat of that rain as anything else, the tourists slipped to 46 for 3 and lost regular wickets across the innings that staggered to 154 for 9. David Hussey, Watson and George Bailey did their best, but could not find the right gears on a pitch slower and lower than the one for the first match.

Kemar Roach had struck twice in his fourth over, the second after a lengthy rain interruption, and Darren Sammy followed up with the wicket of Australia's captain Watson. Roach's display was particularly arresting as he fights to return to the Test team, while Sunil Narine's spin was tidy and intelligent and earned four wickets.

Powell simply lost his bearings against Lee's first ball when West Indies chased, letting go a delivery that shaped back a fraction but would still have been much too close to leave even if it had not moved. Watson chimed in with a yorker that Samuels played over, and while the slide from 42 for 1 to 74 for 4 was gradual, it left Australia with what appeared a decent chance of rushing to a 2-0 series lead.

However, Pollard swung the game definitively towards West Indies with a flurry of sixes. He powered three in a matter of minutes to push Watson's fields back and cause him to change his bowlers, while also making the runs-to-balls ratio more or less irrelevant.

In contrast to Pollard, Bravo played with good sense and few risks, only once leaping down the pitch to loft Doherty over mid-on. In their contrasting approaches, Pollard and Bravo presented Watson and Australia with a union they could not separate before the match's course had been determined, and it was a joyous celebration by both the home crowd and their players when the target was reached in fading light.

David Warner and Watson had made a steady opening after a brief shower delayed the start, reaching 16 for 0 in five overs. At this point more substantial rain pelted the ground, and sent the players off the field for about 90 minutes. When they returned, Warner was swiftly disposed of, playing back to a Roach delivery that skidded through low and flicked off stump. Next man Peter Forrest was undone simply and quickly, edging a ball of high pace and teasing line to second slip to depart for a duck in the same over.

Roach's strikes had the hosts buzzing in the field, and when Andre Russell relieved him, Roach had the startling figures of 5-3-4-2. Watson had returned the West Indian fire with a smart six from the bowling of Sammy, but the West Indies captain would have the last laugh when he floated a slower ball that his opposite number chipped to midwicket.

Michael and David Hussey then set about repairing the innings, as Narine's offbreaks received plenty of assistance from the pitch. The elder Hussey was dropped on eight, a sharp chance from the bowling of Sammy bursting through Pollard's hands in the gully. The drop was not to prove too expensive, as Narine tossed an off break fractionally fuller than his usual length, prompting a thin edge behind and a neat catch by Carlton Baugh. Bailey again looked at home in international company, but was upset to squander his start by cutting Bravo to backward point.

While Lee scrapped as best he could, adding the second six of the innings with a mighty swipe wide of long-on, Australia's total looked insubstantial. Thanks to Pollard, it would prove exactly that.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SuperSharky on March 20, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    Did you hear that?? In the right spirit of cricket. We have to give credit to Shane Watson for his speech afterwards. Unlike most captains like Ponting and Graeme Smith, Shane Watson actually said that it is a challenge to play outside Australia on different kind of pitches and that he loves the challenge to adapt to these pitches. Usually Captains complain when they have to play on someones else's pitch and it doesn't feel like home, like Ponting and Graeme Smith did. Well said Shane Watson.

  • jahman on March 20, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    #nafzak

    What is wrong with you? The team bowled out the Aussies in the first OD, won the second and all you can complain about is who is not in the team!

    Narsingh Deonarine has had his time! Who would he replace now?

  • SuperSharky on March 20, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Wow, what an entertaining match and series so far. It's sad to loose Runako Morton, I liked his style. But it is great to see depth-in-talent again in the West Indies. They can almost produce a second team that will also do good against Australia. So many talents that isn't in the starting line-up yet. I admire Darren Sammy's captaincy and believe that the players like the way he handles them. Almost a leader like what Border meant for Australia, Fleming meant for New Zealand, Cronje and Woolmer meant for South Africa. A Peoples leader. And I have to give credit to Allen Stanford for watering the seed many years ago. Who didn't love the way Kieron Pollard blew the boundaries in Caribbean - Style ???

  • dummy4fb on March 20, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    hmm. look whose bat he is having!!

  • dummy4fb on March 20, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    We will win for few decades indeed if WCB is behaving same to their players! Gayle not in the team! I can't believe it! Good-luck for Aus, you are the real champ!

  • BigGeorgeMehemood on March 20, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    Me think West Indies will crush austraila and beat dem in the test match too. And Gayle will play tomorrow and hammer australia bowling to all part of de ground. Australia gonna get eaten on this tour.

  • Jimmy_Jim on March 19, 2012, 23:29 GMT

    Typical, Australia follow up a good summer with a poor performance.

    Though, the pitches have been horrible

  • Meety on March 19, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    @Busie1979 - when they were replacing everyone after the Argus report, I thought that Langar should of been out the door straight after Nielsen, but he Langar actually applied for the Head coach role & was seriously considered. Take out the series against India, only the SL series was par from our batsmen. I think the Indian test series saved his bacon for the time being!

  • Busie1979 on March 19, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    I am beginning to wonder what Langer is getting paid for? The batting has gone downhill since he became batting coach. The young guys (other than Warner) have struggled. There is just no confidence in the unit. The bowlers in NZ, India, SL, and West Indies are at best workmanlike and should not give a quality batting line up too many headaches. The only bowlers the Aussies have faced since the home summer that are of real quality is Malinga and Zaheer Khan.

  • nafzak on March 19, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    What did Bisoo do wrong to be dropped from the WI team? All Bishoo did was bowled the most overs of any West Indian against Pakistan in the WI, India in the WI, Bangladein Bangladesh and India in India. What has allrounder and captain Darren Sammy done o deserve being picked? Did you my fellow West Indians notice Narsingh Deonarine lately. He has emerged as the best all rounder in the WI.

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