About the Match
A splendid show by the spinners led to a bonus-point victory for team Australia against hosts West Indies and they now occupy the top spot on the table with 5 points; they will take on South Africa, which lost its opening game against West Indies last week, at Providence on 7th June. The Proteas had a terrible start in the Caribbean with a dismal show by the batsmen; they will try to make amends here on Tuesday very well being aware of the punch the Aussie bowlers pack.
The spinners Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa proved to be match-winners for the team by claiming 3 wickets each and stifling the Windies in their run-flow; with Maxwell, Marsh and Starc, who was returning after injury, contributing with 4 wickets between them, Australia restricted the hosts to a lowly 116, getting them all-out in less than 33 overs. Hazlewood put up a brilliant spell and he brings depth to the pace attack; the bowling squad is consistent with the wickets and in controlling the runs.
Chasing 117, the in-form David Warner, posted a run-a-ball 55 and continues to be the top-scorer for his side; Khawaja at No.3 brings stability to the top-order along with Aaron Finch, and he contributed with 27 runs. Although the Aussie middle order fell cheaply to the Windies’ spin attack, the visitors pulled off an easy win by 6 wickets in just 26 overs.
The batting line-up has strong and experienced hitters like Warner, Finch, Maxwell, Steve Smith, Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh, who can build the foundation and go on to ramp up the scoring with huge sixes and fours. They will be cautious against South African speedsters and with a proper game plan, Australia can definitely rule at the top.
Batting first, players like Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy couldn’t come out all guns blazing and failed to build effective partnerships; Rilee Russouw put up a heroic 61 off 83 deliveries but with no one else to support in the middle and lower order, South Africa were all-out for just 188 in 47 overs. Batsmen like Behardien and Morris must do better to help keep the scoreboard ticking; they need to capitalize on the all-rounder skills they have in the team to put up a stiff challenge against the Aussies here.
The spinners found success as Aaron Phangiso and Imran Tahir took 5 wickets between them in an economical way; Duminy dismissed one batsman but proved to be the costliest of all. Abbott, Rabada and Chris Morris bowled with all their heart but couldn’t find breakthroughs when needed. They have a well-balanced pace and spin combination and will leave no stone unturned to do well.
If the batsmen can bounce back to their A-game here, then surely the bowlers will have more room to fight in; if chasing a big total, they need to keep a cool head and focus on achieving the goal.
Australia dominates the ODI team ranking and has excellent mastery in winning matches in this format; although they have the psychological advantage, we feel that South Africa with its power-packed batsmen and sharp spin tactics is well placed to make a comeback with a win here