Windies head home on a high
World Twenty20 champions West Indies found comfort in the shortest format as they ended an otherwise forgettable tour with their first win over the hosts in Australia for 16 years.
Johnson Charles’ 57 helped the Windies to an imposing 191 for six before an under-strength home side stuttered to a 27-run loss at the Gabba.
Adam Voges’ fifty gave Australia hope but when he and Shaun Marsh were run out midway through the innings, the hosts needed more than 10 and over to win.
Brad Haddin briefly threatened to meet that, swiping 19 from a Narsingh Deonarine over, but the touring bowlers kept calm to secure victory in the one-off match.
Keiron Pollard was the pick of them, taking 3-30 as Australia finished on 164 for eight in their first home defeat to the Windies since the February 1997 Perth Test.
Victory was West Indies’ third in a row against Australia - including last year’s thumping World T20 semi-final success - and helped regain some of the pride lost in their 5-0 one-day international whitewash.
Australia were weakened by a host of first-choice players having already flown out to India for the Test series, meaning three debutants - Ben Rohrer, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Josh Hazlewood - were called upon.
Seamers Coulter-Nile and Hazelwood were quickly under pressure as the Windies made a flying start after winning the toss
Following Chris Gayle’s latest failure - the opener survived the simplest of drops from Haddin only to make eight - Charles and Darren Bravo set the foundation for a big score.
The pair put on 88 in 55 balls with Johnson, fresh from his century in the fifth ODI, reaching his fifty with an array of unorthodox shots.
Coulter-Nile eventually got him to chop a slower ball onto his stumps and, although Bravo was run out for 32 soon after following a mix-up with Pollard, West Indies accelerated towards 200.
James Faulkner attempted to slow their progress, removing Pollard and Dwayne Bravo in the 17th over en route to figures of 3-28, but Andre Russell blasted an unbeaten 23 from 11 balls - the all-rounder and Deonarine taking 17 off Coulter-Nile’s final over.
Australia’s chase began badly when the out-of-form Aaron Finch played on to Darren Sammy, but Marsh and Voges steadily attempted to lay a winning platform in a 74-run stand.
Voges was more fluent, reaching his half-century off 31 balls, while Marsh was seemingly gathering himself after reaching 21 from 19 deliveries.
But any assault was circumvented when Marsh was caught short of his ground by Tino Best’s throw from point before wicketkeeper Devon Thomas ran Voges out in the next over as the batsman attempted to steal a single.
George Bailey and Haddin hit the ground running, the wicketkeeper twice clearing the midwicket rope in Deonarine’s expensive 14th over. But Haddin was out in the next from Pollard, when a diving Russell held on well in the deep, leaving the Australia tail with too much to do.