West Indies v Australia, 3rd ODI, Kingstown
Due to university commitments, I was unable to watch the 3rd ODI, therefore can’t provide a thorough analysis of this 3rd ODI, but he’s a small entry anyway.
This is the only game of the 5-match ODI series that I had to miss and of course it had to be the best match of them all, a heart-pounding tie!
It’s been a low-scoring series so far with slow, low, turning pitches. As expected Nathan Lyon was drafted into the Australian XI as a second spinner to support Doherty. Making way was Peter Forrest, but that’s hardly a surprise as he’s been in poor form since he made a century in the tri-series back in Australia. West Indies stuck to the same winning XI.
A tie in ODI cricket is a very rare occurrence but strangely enough ithas happened a few times recently. India were involved in a thrilling tie with England in the World Cup about this time last year and also drew with Sri Lanka in the recent tri-series.
Anyway, to the actual match, Shane Watson won the toss and batted first, the Aussies all out for 220. They were struggling at 3/58 but Michael Hussey saved the day with a gritty 67, enough to earn man-of-the-match. He and George Bailey (59) combined for a 4th wicket partnership of 112 to set Australia on course for a respectable score. These innings were the first two half-centuries of the series so far.
At 5/78 in the run-chase, the West Indies were in a deep trouble. Pollard, Baugh and Russell all chipped in with 30s and gave them a great chance to win. When Darren Sammy hit Brett Lee’s third delivery of the last over for a four to long-on, they looked destined for victory as scores were tied. All they needed was 1 run off 3 balls, but the problem was they only had 1 wicket in hand. The pressure got to them though as Kemar Roach, from the non-strikers end, panicked and ran down the pitch on adrenalin more than anything. He was attempting to run a single when there was none and Lee ran-out Sammy to tie the game.
Since I didn’t watch the match, I might as well make some general observations. Since I dream of being a play-by-play sports commentator one day, I’m naturally interested in who the commentators are. For this series it has been anchored by Ian Bishop with along with Tony Cozier, Michael Holding and two commentators representing the visiting Australians – Geoff Lawson and Nathan Bracken. Michael Holding is one of my favourite cricket commentators. I love his analysis and explanation of tactics to viewers at home, not to mention his cool accent. Despite having commitments with Sky Sports for the English summer, he gets the opportunity this year to call the full West Indies home season because it’s on earlier in the calendar than usual. The West Indies are a bunch of islands squashed between North and South America. Being on the equator, there is no clear summer or winter, it’s more a dry or wet season. So that’s why their seasons occur in unusual parts of the calendar year.
This full series, including the Tests, will have been complete by the time England start their international summer, which happens to be against none other than the West Indies. So the schedule works well for Holding, allowing him to commentate both without a clash occurring.
Just in other cricket news, I thought I might give Bangladesh a bit of a wrap for making the Asia Cup Final, a big achievement for them. Bangladesh are competing with Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka in the biennial 4-nations competition. Their most notable win in this year’s tournament was a successful run-chase against India. This was the match were Tendulkar finally reached his 100th international century milestone. Set 290, Bangladesh were supposedly punching above their weight. But they somehow managed to get there with 5 wickets to spare, and no one even got over 70, so the runs were spread, it was a team performance. So Bangladesh host the final in Dhaka on Thursday night against Pakistan. May the best team win.
Also, the Australian women’s team, the Southern Stars, are touring India for a limited-overs series and so far we’ve been faultless, we haven’t lost a match. We’re cruising! We’ve already won the ODI series 3-0, and lead the T20 series 3-0 with two matches to go. Well done girls!
There is a two-day break and a change of venues now as both camps head from Kingstown, St Vincent to Bridgetown, Barbados for the last 2 ODIs of this series. I’m hoping there will be better opportunities for batsmen.
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