On the back of an unbeaten half century from Nicholas Pooran, the West Indies snuck over the line in a low scoring affair in game two, setting up a series decider in game three. It’s been a series dominated by the bowlers, with neither side yet to score over 253 runs. Can the Aussies pull off an impressive series win with an undermanned squad? Or Will the Windies add an ODI series win to their T20 triumph over Australia? We’ve got you covered with the preview and tips for the 3rd ODI!
Kensington Oval, Tuesday July 27th, 4:30am AEST
Australia’s top six crumbled in game two, producing only two double figure scores as the Aussies slumped to 6-45 inside of thirteen overs. Matthew Wade (36), Mitchell Starc (19), Adam Zampa (36) and Wes Agar (41) combined for over 70% of Australia’s score, as the bowling attack gave Australia a chance with their batting, as well as their bowling.
The West Indies top order batting was once again poor as they slumped to 5/72, however Nicholas Pooran (59 not out) and Jason Holder (52) steadied the ship to get the Windies home. Akeal Hosein was the star with the ball as he ripped the heart out of the middle order of Australia, taking three wickets in six balls knocking over Alex Carey, Moises Henriques and Ashton Turner.
Mitchell Starc (3/26) and Adam Zampa (2/43) continued their hot form in another good bowling performance by the Australians. The Australian bowling attack has the West Indies batting unit covered in these conditions, the question is if the inexperienced Australian batsmen can score enough to give their bowlers something to bowl at.
The Aussies inability to cope with spin in white ball cricket has continued to rear its ugly head on this tour. Australia scored 89 runs from 20 overs against the spin of Hosein and Hayden Walsh at a run rate of 4.45 in game one. In game two they scored just 62 runs from 20 overs at a run rate of 3.1 against the Windies spin duo. Hosein and Walsh have combined for 11 of the 19 wickets so far in this series, and once again they will be the key in game three.
This series has been all about the bowlers, on difficult pitches to score on, and both bowling attacks will be full of confidence coming into the series decider. The match will come down to which batting unit can hold up best, to give their bowlers something to work with. The Windies batsmen have struggled on the slow pitches in Barbados, but Australia’s inability against spin is a far bigger concern.
It’s hard to see this inexperienced Australian top six finding a way to combat twenty overs of quality spin bowling. Starc and Zampa will keep the Aussies in the game, but it won’t be enough as the West Indies will cap off a successful campaign against Australia.
Hayden Walsh has been a revelation since Australia arrived in the Carribean, dominating both the T20I and ODI series. Walsh has taken 18 wickets, at an average of 11, with an economy rate of 5.27 across both white ball series. He has continued to strangle the Australians with his economical bowling, which has created an abundance of wickets for himself. The pitch at the Kensington Oval has spun in both games of this series so far, and it will continue to do the same in game three. With the consistency Walsh has bowled with against Australia, he’s set to be the main man once again on Tuesday morning.
The bowlers have been the star this series, and with Australia’s struggles with the bat, we turn back to the bowlers. After taking 1/141 at an economy rate of 8.8 in the T20 series, Mitchell Starc has been the man for Australia in the 50 over format. Starc has been at his blistering best with hauls of 5/48 and 3/26 in the two one day games. Starc has been lethal in the powerplay overs, taking five wickets, an area that he has badly struggled in across the last 18 months. The West Indies top order is vulnerable at the moment, and Starc has been cashing in. With his form against the Windies top order, Starc is well poised to be Australia’s leading wicket taker for a third consecutive game.
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