Windies pull level in St Vincent
Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard inspired West Indies to a series-levelling five-wicket win over Australia in a rain-affected one-day international in St Vincent.
After the match had been reduced to 40 overs a side following a delayed start at the Arnos Vale Ground and a further 90-minute break early in Australia’s innings, off-spinner Narine, who had proven economical in Friday’s opening fixture, picked up 4-27 to help restrict the tourists to a modest 154 for nine.
Faced with a revised target of 158, the Windies initially laboured to 74 for four, but Pollard then shared 64 with Dwayne Bravo before finishing unbeaten on 47 as victory was secured with 10 balls to spare.
Kemar Roach did much to undermine Australia’s hopes of reaching a competitive total after they had been sent into bat by Darren Sammy.
Following the rain delay that interrupted proceedings after five overs, Roach bowled David Warner for 13 with one that kept low before having Peter Forrest caught at second slip without scoring four balls later.
The paceman finished his opening spell with exceptional figures of 5-3-4-2 as the batsmen struggled to time the ball on a sluggish surface.
Shane Watson did manage a six off Sammy, but the Windies skipper gained his revenge soon after when his opposite number mis-judged a slower ball to be caught at midwicket.
Mike Hussey laboured to 24 before being caught behind off Narine, while George Bailey slapped Bravo to backward point following a promising start to his innings.
Although David Hussey contributed 37, Australia struggled to accelerate as Narine struck at regular intervals in his final spell.
Matthew Wade, Hussey and Clint McKay all fell to the Trinidadian following the run out of Dan Christian, although a late maximum from Brett Lee at least lifted the score beyond 150.
Lee made an immediate impression when the Windies began their reply, swinging one back into the pads of Kieran Powell first ball to trap the opener plumb in front.
The remainder of the top four all got starts, but were unable to kick on.
Marlon Samuels fell victim to a Watson yorker, while Johnson Charles was run out at the non-striker’s end following a calamitous breakdown in communication with Darren Bravo, who subsequently played on to Xavier Doherty.
It was left to Pollard and Dwayne Bravo to ensure their side did not throw away a glorious opportunity to record a rare win over Australia - their first since 2006.
Christian and Doherty were each taken for two sixes by Pollard, who did not register another boundary in his mature 61-ball innings, while Bravo nudged his way to 30, only to then be run out by wicketkeeper Wade after being sent back by his partner.
By that stage, only 21 were needed and Carlton Baugh duly applied the finishing touch by swinging Doherty high over the deep midwicket boundary.