Bartlett, Fraser-McGurk star as Australia win with record 259 balls remaining
The visitors lost 9 for 48 in a dismal batting display in Canberra with Australia’s inexperienced attack impressing again
Scores: Australia 87 for 2 (Fraser-McGurk 41, Inglis 35*) beat West Indies 86 (Bartlett 4-21) by eight wickets
Lance Morris’ spectacular return was cut short by a side strain injury, but Xavier Bartlett continued a strong start to his international career with four wickets as Australia thrashed a hapless West Indies at Manuka Oval to sweep the ODI series.
Openers Josh Inglis and Jake Fraser-McGurk raced toward the low target by smashing 67 runs within five overs. They had struck Australia’s fastest team 50 in men’s ODIs since 2002.
Their eight-wicket victory with 43.1 overs to spare was the shortest men’s ODI ever played in Australia. The match lasted just 31 overs and was completed in three hours, including the innings break.
Bartlett had starred with 4 for 21 as West Indies were embarrassingly bowled out for 86 in 24.1 overs in their fifth lowest ODI score. Playing their 1000th ODI, the second nation to do so after India, Australia were almost flawless following comprehensive victories in Melbourne and Sydney.
Inglis raced to 22 off seven deliveries as he played gorgeous orthodox shots, but was quickly overtaken by Fraser-McGurk who muscled three sixes in four balls off seamer Matthew Forde.
Fraser-McGurk was on track for a rapid half-century, but holed out to mid-on to end his 18-ball 41 and dashed Australia’s hopes for a 10-wicket win. Aaron Hardie made just two before Australia passed the target after 6.5 overs.
Australia recorded their 12th straight victory in the 50-over format, but were aided by a shoddy West Indies effort with a number of batters dismissed in tame fashion.
It wasn’t all rosy for Australia with Morris, who returned to the side along with Bartlett in place of injured Matthew Short and a rested Josh Hazlewood, coming off the ground midway through his fifth over with a left side strain. He will have a scan and faces a nervous wait ahead of Australia’s tour of New Zealand.
Steven Smith elected to bowl under bleak skies with Bartlett looming as a major threat in seaming conditions. After having a breather following his stunning four-wicket debut at the MCG, Bartlett was immediately on the money with the new ball and he had opener Kjorn Ottley lbw in his second over.
Ottley trudged off after a short discussion with Alick Athanaze, but replays showed he had inside edged the ball. Bartlett continued to showcase his prowess for swing bowling and he bowled an unrelenting line and length to finish with 1 for 11 off his opening five-over spell.
But Athanaze and Keacy Carty held firm as West Indies’ fortunes momentarily seemed to turn with the sun emerging and they eyed a decent total on the traditionally batting-friendly Manuka Oval surface.
West Indies avoided the early collapses that marred their opening two games, but the introduction of Morris in the 11th over soon left them in familiar woe.
Morris had his first international wicket when Carty was brilliantly caught by a flying Marnus Labuschagne at backward point. Captain Shai Hope unsuccessfully reviewed an lbw decision off Sean Abbott in the next over before Morris clean bowled debutant Teddy Bishop with a searing full delivery that rattled the stumps.
In contrast to when he took the new ball at the MCG, Morris enjoyed being held back in a role he usually relishes with Western Australia at domestic level. He bowled consistently in the mid 140kph and a threatening short of a length before going off the ground.
Athanaze had held the innings together until he threw away his wicket with a rash sweep stroke against legspinner Adam Zampa that was caught deep backward square
Smith went on the attack and brought back Bartlett, who on his first delivery nicked off Romario Shepherd. Bartlett soon became just the sixth men’s bowler to record four-plus wicket hauls in his first two ODIs.
West Indies’ woeful performance was summed up with a comical run out of Forde, who bickered with batting partner Roston Chase on his way off, as their 27-year ODI drought against Australia in Australia continues. (ESPN Cricinfo)