BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – West Indies were undermined by purposeless batting and failed to deliver when it mattered most, crashing to a 58-run defeat to Australia in the final of the Tri-Nations Series here Sunday night.
Set a gettable 271 for victory under lights at Kensington Oval, West Indies wasted an opening stand of 49 to fold meekly for 212 off 45.4 overs, after suffering a middle-order implosion.
Opener Johnson Charles top-scored with 45 and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin struck 40, while captain Jason Holder chipped in with 34 and Sunil Narine, 23, but none could convert their starts into a significant score.
West Indies appeared to be putting up a fight when Charles and Andre Fletcher (9) were at the crease but once they were separated, they lost four wickets for 23 runs to decline to 73 for four in the 21st over and never really recovered.
Earlier, Holder and fellow fast bowler Shannon Gabriel both grabbed two wickets as West Indies managed to limit Australia to 270 for nine after the 50-overs World champions opted to bat first.
They were cruising at 120 for two but lost a cluster of wickets which hurt their momentum, and left them short of the 300-run mark.
Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade top-scored with an unbeaten 57 while opener Aaron Finch struck 47 and captain Steve Smith, 46.
Mitchell Marsh made 32 and George Bailey, 22.
Holder finished with two for 52 while Gabriel, who was ineffective in his opening spell, returned in a second spell to take two wickets in his sixth over and finish with two for 58.
Australia lost Usman Khawaja cheaply for 14 at 28 for one in the fifth over of the afternoon, edging a cut at Holder through to Ramdin.
Smith then anchored two key stands, adding 41 for the second wicket with Finch and a further 51 for the third wicket with Bailey.
The right-handed Finch counted six fours and a six in his 41-ball knock before holing out to Marlon Samuels at mid-wicket in medium pacer Kieron Pollard’s first over, at 69 for two in the 13th over.
Edited by Jesus Chan
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