Samuels guides West Indies to upset win over Aussies
CRICKET: The West Indies hadn’t beaten Australia in any form of the game since a Twenty 20 international in March 2014.
Marlon Samuels hadn’t struck a one-day international half-century against the Aussies since 2001.
But that all changed when the veteran all-rounder struck 92 to guide his side to a four-wicket win in its ODI tri-series clash with Australia in Basseterre.
The much-maligned man of the match in the 2016 World T20 final, Samuels had shared in a 78-run third-wicket stand with Darren Bravo (39) in pursuit of the Aussies’ meagre 7-265 from their 50 overs.
After he added another 73 runs with Denesh Ramdin (29), the Windies got home with 4.2 overs to spare.
Earlier, Usman Khawaja was run out two short of a century, and despite Steve Smith (74) and George Bailey (55) also getting among the runs, it wasn’t enough.
Australia next plays South Africa on Monday morning (Australian time).
With David Warner out injured, nursing a broken finger, Khawaja opened with Aaron Finch (dismissed for a golden duck), before being joined by Smith to form a 170-run stand for the second wicket.
A total beyond 300 looked a formality until Smith and Khawaja both departed.
West Indies skipper Jason Holder (2-44) was the best of the local bowlers.
Australia added just 93 runs from the final 15 overs.
Johnson Charles (48 from 38 balls) and Andre Fletcher (27 from 27) got the West Indies off to a swashbuckling start, adding 40 runs in the first four overs, the pair ultimately adding 74 in 9.5 overs.
Aussie strike bowler Mitchell Starc, rested as he continues his comeback from ankle surgery, was sorely missed in the opening overs.
Samuels consolidated his side’s position, cracking eight fours and four sixes, before he was brilliantly run out by Matthew Wade in the 41st over.
Ramdin and Kieron Pollard (16 runs off 12 balls) got the hosts home.
Nathan Coulter-Nile took some punishment early but finished with figures of 2-67 from 9.4 overs, while spinner Adam Zampa chipped in with 2-60 from seven overs.