In the critical third match of the three-match One-Day International series at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Monday, Australia’s varied bowling attack once again overpowered a weak West Indies batting line-up en route to a series-clinching six-wicket triumph. Evin Lewis, the tourists’ opening batsman, played a lone hand with an unbeaten 55 as they blew out the hosts for 152 in 45.1 overs playing first, with Mitchell Starc taking three for 43. With such performance, the left-arm bowler increased his series wicket total to 11 and was named “Man of the Series.”
“It’s my role in the team to use whatever pace and swing I have consistently through my spells,” said Starc in putting his performances in the match and the series in context. “It helps when I’ve got Josh (Hazlewood) at the other end and the spinning quality we have as well in support,” he added.
With two for 18, fellow new-ball bowler Hazlewood was at his most merciless, while Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar, and Ashton Turner combined for the remaining five wickets.
With almost 20 overs to spare, Matthew Wade’s unbeaten 51 (52 balls, two sixes, five fours) guided Australia to the mark. After the West Indies ripped off the openers early, the slow bowlers, led by Akeal Hosein, promised to give their team a fighting chance at defending that modest score, he received strong backing from Alex Carey (35) and Mitchell Marsh (29).
However, it was left-arm spinning all-rounder Agar who was named “Man of the Match” instead of Starc or Wade. He responded with figures of two for 31 off his allotted ten overs after being selected to replace younger brother and pacer Wes in the final eleven on a surface expected to favor the slow bowlers. He then contributed an important 19 not out in an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 54 to guide his side through what could have been a difficult chase.