Another top order batting collapse from the West Indies hands Australia an easy 38-run win in the Twenty20 international at the Bellerive Oval.
West Indies' slump in Australia continues
Another top order batting collapse from the West Indies hands Australia an easy 38-run win in the Twenty20 international at the Bellerive Oval. Set a challenging 180 to win their first match on Australian soil this summer, the tourists slumped to 53 for six before a 73-run partnership between Denesh Ramdin (44 off 26 balls) and Runako Morton (40 from 40) added some respectability. The Windies eventually finished 141 for eight from their 20 overs. Fast bowler Shaun Tait (three for 30) was named the Man-of-the-Match and was well supported by Dirk Nannes (three for 21) and Mitchell Johnson (two for 28). The visitors desperately needed a good start but were again let down by the men at the top. Chris Gayle's disappointing run continued, bowled for five in the second over attempting to swing the hostile Tait over midwicket. Narsingh Deonarine was out next ball for a golden duck, beaten for pace and edging Tait to second slip where Shane Watson held onto a sharp catch. Kieron Pollard survived the hat-trick ball but there was no keeping Tait out of the game. In the next over he held his nerve at third man to snare a skied catch from Lendl Simmons off Nannes. The Windies were 14 for three just 14 balls in and the match was as good as over as a contest. Pollard (12) became Tait's third victim in the fourth over, edging a rearing delivery to Brad Haddin. Watson produced a fine running catch to end Wavell Hinds' stay on 11 and Dwayne Smith soon followed, caught by Steve Smith on the midwicket rope off the bowling of Johnson. Ramdin and Morton then combined to send the score past 100 but it was only delaying the inevitable. When they both departed with the score on 126, the end was nigh. Earlier in the night, some big hitting from Brad Haddin late in the innings helped Australia set the West Indies a competitive total. The hosts risked throwing away a tremendous start when they slumped to 151 for seven on the first ball of the 19th over. But Haddin picked up the pace, blasting two sixes in his 16-ball 37 to drag Australia's total towards 180. Dave Warner and Watson, who clubbed four sixes, sped to 83 from just 47 balls at the top of the order before the home side lost its way. Watson (37 from 19) was the first man out, deceived by a well-flighted Gayle (two for 15) delivery and skying a simple catch to the wicketkeeper Ramdin. Just three runs later a typically exhilarating Warner innings came to a soft end just one run short of his half century. He pushed a Dwayne Smith (two for 38) full-toss straight back to the bowler, guilty of attempting to massage a run down the ground instead of belting the loose delivery. The New South Welshmen's knock lasted just 32 balls and contained six fours and two sixes. The Windies had done well to hang in the contest during the early onslaught but it got away from them at the end. Having taken six for 46 to reduce Australia to 129 for six in the 16th over, Haddin took it upon himself to push the total well beyond the 150 mark. He single-handedly rescued the Australian innings, his intelligent knock in the closing overs ensuring the West Indies were left confronting a total they never threatened to overhaul. * PA Sport