West Indies v Australia, 5th ODI, Gros Islet March 24, 2012

Hosts aim to break 17-year drought

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Match facts

March 25, Beausejour Cricket Ground
Start time 0930 (1330 GMT)

Big Picture

This was not how most people expected the series to play out. With one match remaining, West Indies cannot lose. The worst they can do is emerge with a 2-2 draw. Their best-case scenario is a 3-1 win, which would mean a lot to a side that has not beaten Australia in a one-day series since 1995. It would be especially pleasing for Darren Sammy if he was able to secure his first ODI home series win with a victory in his home country of St Lucia. And the way they played on Friday, it would be a brave person to tip against them in this final match.

Australia began the tour with a victory but at no stage in this series have they produced a strong all-round match. The bowling has let them down too often and none of their batsman have made a big enough score to set up a game. Under Shane Watson's leadership they arrived in the Caribbean fresh from a triumph in the tri-series but they struggled to adjust to the slow St Vincent pitch and were outplayed in the more familiar conditions of St Lucia on Friday. Eight men in the ODI squad will stay on for the Test series, so they will not wish to concede to West Indies the psychological advantage of a series win.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
West Indies WTWLL
Australia LTLWW

In the spotlight

Kieron Pollard has always had talent but in the past few months he has started to turn that into big international scores. His first ODI century came in December in India and his second was the match-winning 102 on Friday. He has power and confidence, and will be one of the men West Indies can thank if they win the series.

David Warner has had a couple of good starts in this series without posting a big score. He arrived in the Caribbean fresh from two centuries in the three tri-series finals against Sri Lanka but the St Vincent pitch was a challenge and he missed out early in Friday's game. But the quicker St Lucia surface should suit him, and Australia will be hoping he gets a start on Sunday and capitalises on it.

Team news

West Indies will be reluctant to change a winning side, which could mean Tino Best and Devendra Bishoo will end the series without having played a match.

West Indies (possible) 1 Adrian Barath, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Carlton Baugh (wk), 9 Darren Sammy (capt), 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Kemar Roach.

Australia have name an unchanged side from the one that lost on Friday.

Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson (capt), 3 Peter Forrest, 4 Michael Hussey, 5 David Hussey, 6 George Bailey, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Brett Lee, 9 Clint McKay, 10 Xavier Doherty, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus.

Pitch and conditions

There were plenty of runs in the pitch on Friday but Shane Watson said after the match there was just enough sideways movement to keep the bowlers interested as well. "I think this wicket was a beautiful wicket," Watson said. "It's as close as you get to an Australian wicket, with the pace and the bounce and a little bit of seam movement. I thought this was a brilliant one-day wicket and I'm pretty sure we'll get the same thing next game as well."

Stats and trivia

  • Clint McKay took his 50th ODI wicket on Friday and became the fourth-fastest Australian to the milestone, behind Dennis Lillee, Shane Warne and Len Pascoe
  • West Indies will move ahead of New Zealand on the ICC's one-day rankings if they beat Australia in this game

Quotes

"We are already up 2-1 and we cannot lose the series but we want to finish with a win. We have worked really hard to get here and we want to go all the way. The job is not yet done."
Kieron Pollard

"We've got to execute better with the ball, especially up front. We need to execute better to not let them get away like they did [on Friday]."
Shane Watson

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Charindra on March 25, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    Is Darren Sammy going to be the next Clive Lloyd? He has made the WI team greater than the sum of their parts.

  • Murthy2 on March 25, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    All the best westindies

  • caribvoice on March 25, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    Any player replaced for Bishoo should be Russell. Roach is a genuine quickie and can both effectively use the new ball on any given day as well as wrap up the tail. And whatever Russell achieves with ball, Bishoo can better by far, especially when one considers what Narine has been able to do.. Besides Bishoo is no mouse with bat either but the Windies batting strength is deep and with Bishoo in the side the Aussies capacity to score will be that much restricted. Regarding sammy, the simple fact is that the current performance is in spite of rather than because of sammy. Gayle, Sarwan and Chanderpaul can all bat far beyond anything that sammy can produce and sammy's place as a bowler is redundant. Or as an alternative Deonarine is by far a better batsman and has proven quite effective as a bowler, especially during the current regional competition. However I would keep sammy on the T20 and ODI side but definitely not in the test team.

  • dummy4fb on March 25, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    Lots of bandwagon jumpers now since WI have surprised the doubters. Gibson's way is paying dividends. When he came on board, he said he wanted to build a new cricket culture where the players would play hard, smart and with commitment, passion and pride and he's succeeding. We're not quite there yet, but only a blind person wouldn't be able to see the strides this young team has made. They're definitely not afraid of the Aussies and that's half the battle won. Hope the team doesn't take this game lightly because we can't lose the Series. We must be professional at all times and in all situations. No, we don't need Gayle to come in and disrupt the team chemistry with his selfisness. Pollard is batting in the correct position and he has shown that gradually, he will be able to take over Gayle's former role in the team. Let " Mr.Cool" make his millions beating up club bowlers and leave our team alone. We have won without him and will continue to do so. Bring it home, Windies.

  • sasidharbiet on March 25, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    chaluvaji: Today Australia will win the match and make the series level

  • dummy4fb on March 25, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Last match Pollard,Sammy and Barath gave Oz's banging of the life time.All we want is one more time.

  • rama_krish on March 25, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    WI batting - especially the top order - needs to come to the game today. No doubt the Aussies will play a hard game. This should be a good match to watch since captaincy will most likely be the key factor in deciding who wins.

  • dummy4fb on March 25, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Good Luck to our boys - Windies- we can do it !!!

  • dummy4fb on March 25, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    with out ricky ponting aus no hard team he is a great player

  • Marcio on March 25, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Should be interesting. I have a feeling Australia will bounce back for this game. People have a tendency to think that the next moment will be just like the last, the next game the same as the previous. But this is a foible of human perception. Sooner or later some of those AUS players like Warner and Watson will fire - just like Pollard did last game. They are too good to stay down long.

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