It was an awful choke by the Australians in game one, losing 6/19 to be bowled out inside of 16 overs as the West Indies took game one by 18 runs. Can the Aussies bounce back, or will the Windies go 2-0 up? We’ve got you covered with preview and tips for game two.
Darren Sammy Stadium, Sunday July 11th, 9:30am AEST
Australia’s bowlers did damage early in game one, with Josh Hazlewood’s picking up 2 for 3 in his opening three over spell to kick off the game. Australia held the West Indies to 2/24 in the opening six overs, their lowest powerplay score since August 2019. The West Indies averaged 56 in the powerplay in the five match series against South Africa. However it was Andre Russell’s remarkable knock of 51 off 28 deliveries that gave the West Indies a score that they could defend, after a poor final six overs from Australia, as they conceded 69 runs.
Although spin bowling was expected to be the key factor, it was the length bowling of Hazlewood (3/12) and Mitchell Marsh (2/26) that held the West Indies to under a run a ball for the first fourteen overs of the match. The inconsistent bounce in the surface caused plenty of struggles for a West Indies batting line up that lacks balance, on their day they can pile runs on, but there is far too much inconsistency in their side.
Matthew Wade broke the game open in the powerplay with 33 off 14, before Mitch Marsh’s 51 off 31 kept Australia a long way ahead of the required run rate throughout the innings. Obed McCoy almost single handedly got the Windies over the line with 4/24, as the Australians struggled to play his slower ball.
Mitchell Starc’s spot in the side will be under pressure after going 0/40, and his form over the last eighteen months has to be a major concern for Justin Langer. West Indies captain Kieron Pollard will likely miss again with a hamstring injury.
Australia will look to utilise Dan Christian more at the death overs in game two, which gives them great scope to improve on what was a good bowling performance overall. Ashton Agar was excellent in the powerplay, conceding just thirteen runs in two overs in the powerplay.
The West Indies bowling struggled in game one conceding 70 runs in the powerplay, and in the five match series against South Africa, they only held the Proteas to below 8 runs an over once.
Despite the awful collapse, Australia controlled the majority of the game and should be confident that they can finish games off more often than not. The majority of the dismissals came from poor batting rather than good bowling, which Australia will know is a very fixable situation. Australia dominated 24 of the 36 overs, and can control the game for as long in game two, they should win.
There’s going to be a wave of criticism of this Australian side, but with a short turn around, expect a big bounce back from Justin Langer’s team.
Obed McCoy tuned game one on its head with 4/24 and his performance comes off the back of an excellent series against South Africa. McCoy took 9 wickets at an average of 15, against the Proteas. His ability to contain batsmen is crucial, given the Windies lack consistency in their bowling stocks. McCoy went at an economy of 6.5 in game one, and just 7.5 in the five match series against South Africa. McCoy completely out-thought the Aussies in game one, and he’ll be confident he can carry that form into game two.
Mitch Marsh had an outstanding BBL10 campaign, scoring 315 runs at an average of 39, with a strike rate of 147. He was rewarded with a promotion to number three, and he delivered, scoring a brutal 51 off 31. Marsh bowled well in game one and when he is full of confidence, he is one of the most dangerous white ball players in the world. He hasn’t had many opportunities in the middle order, however when he gets an opportunity to get in early, he delivers. The last three innings he’s faced over 30 balls, Marsh has scored 51, 45 and 39 not out. Marsh will be full of confidence he can produce another big performance on Sunday.
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