About the Match
West Indies pulled off a win in the thriller against South Africa by 100 runs to make it to the finals of the tri-series; the hosts will fight it out for the title against Australia on 26th June at Bridgetown. The Windies bowlers defended 285 runs in a superb fashion, taking consistent wickets to stifle the Protean batsmen; they will be determined now to dominate against the Aussies and avenge their previous defeat to lift the trophy on Sunday. On the other hand, Australia, which reserved a berth in the finals by defeating West Indies by 6 wickets, will try to repeat the magic and win here.
The fast bowlers have found tremendous success here and their quick breakthroughs helped restrict West Indies to 282 runs the last time around; Mitchell Starc led the attack with a splendid 3-51 while Faulkner, Boland and Hazlewood took 5 wickets between them. Along with Finch, Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh, who add depth and variety to the squad, Australia will work hard to demolish the hosts, whether while defending a target or in restricting them to modest totals.
Chasing 283, Steve Smith led from the front as he posted 78 off 107 before getting run-out in the 42nd over; Mitchell Marsh then shared the responsibility to steer the team across the finish line with an unbeaten 79 off 85 while Maxwell put up an inspired 46 off 26 deliveries to help win the match. Earlier, against the Windies, Khawaja’s splendid 98 off 123 went in vain as the bowlers had failed to defend a low total of 266 despite Coulter-Nile, Zampa and Faulkner providing good breakthroughs.
The pace attack looks strong with Faulkner, Boland, Starc, Hazlewood and Marsh offering good options; along with spinners like Zampa, Lyon, Maxwell and Finch, the Aussies can stifle the hosts. Zampa has been best bowler for Australia in the series and we might see Boland making way for him in the final.
Darren Bravo’s outstanding performance with the bat and an inspirational show by the bowlers helped the hosts secure a win against South Africa to make it to the finals here; Bravo scored a huge 102 off 103 and along with Pollard at the other end, built the highest 5th wicket partnership of 156 runs for West Indies. Later, Holder and Brathwaite kept the scoreboard ticking and contributed with a half-century partnership to take the total to 285.
The bowlers backed the team up as Shannon Gabriel claimed 3-17 in 5 overs while all-rounders Brathwaite and Holder contributed with 3 wickets between them to stifle the opponents. Sunil Narine, who hadn’t had much success with the wickets lately, put up a stunning show as he claimed 3-28 to get the Proteans all-out for just 185 and win the match by a massive 100 runs.
The bowlers will be proud of their achievements that knocked out South Africa from the tournament and they will be eager to continue with their firepower against Australia; Marlon Samuels, Pollard, Charles, Fletcher, Bravo and Brathwaite are in good nick with the bat and they will definitely try to come out all guns blazing on Sunday. Gabriel has already made a mark in the series, but picked up an injury in the last game. If he is fit, West Indies are expected to play unchanged XI.
The Windies have yet again proven why they are such a dangerous side and Australia will not take them lightly here; the contest could well go down to the wire but we feel that after their cosistent performance, Aussies have the edge to outwit the hosts and walk away with the laurels.