Monday, June 13
Start time 1300 local (1700GMT)
Australia moved to the top of the tri-series table with their win over South Africa at Warner Park on Saturday, and could go a long way in securing a place in the final if they follow up with another victory over West Indies on Monday. When the two teams met in Guyana, West Indies capitulated to Australia’s spinners and were bowled out for 116, but in St Kitts, the conditions are quite different, and high-scoring contests the norm. So it was a blow that their most in-form batsman David Warner was ruled out as a result of a fracture to his left index finger, suffered when he dived for a catch on Saturday.
Australia showed in that game that reverse swing can also play an important role at the venue, where Mitchell Starc’s form was ominous for his opponents for the rest of the series. He moved the ball just enough to trouble the South Africans and finished with 3 for 43, while Josh Hazlewood also got the ball to tail in.
But the short boundaries will encourage the West Indian batsmen to play their shots – as if they need any encouragement – and if they can make a strong start, they will fancy their chances of joining Australia on two wins for the series. They just need to eliminate the “horrible shots” in the words of their captain Jason Holder, that plagued them in the previous game.
Australia WLWLW (last five completed games most recent first)
West Indies LWLLL
In the spotlight
Sunil Narine certainly enjoyed the conditions in Guyana, where he finished with 8 for 63 in two matches. The move to St Kitts might theoretically be in favour of the fast bowlers, but Narine has enjoyed bowling there in the past and has 10 wickets at 10.60 from four ODIs. Australia’s batsmen will need to be on their game to prevent Narine from turning it around.
Second to Narine on the bowling charts in this series is Adam Zampa, who has seven wickets at 16.28. Zampa was preferred to Nathan Lyon and Glenn Maxwell as Australia’s only spinner for Saturday’s match. He has shown tremendous poise in his first few months as an international cricketer and did so again while bowling late in South Africa’s unsuccessful chase. “I put him under a bit of pressure at the end there,” Steven Smith said. “I bowled him a few overs where they could have hit a few to these small straight boundaries, but he held his nerve nicely. He changed his pace, mixed it up, bowled some googlies, and he’s come a long way.”
The three West Indies players who have not played the first two games are Shannon Gabriel, Ashely Nurse – neither of whom has played an ODI before – and Jonathan Carter. It remains to be seen if the selectors make any changes for their first match in St Kitts.
West Indies (possible) 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Andre Fletcher, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Carlos Brathwaite, 8 Jason Holder (capt), 9 Sulieman Benn, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Jerome Taylor
Australia made three changes for the previous game, in part due to the change in conditions. The injury suffered by Warner during Saturday’s game will force at least one change, with either Travis Head or Glenn Maxwell likely to come in and Usman Khawaja the best option to move up the order and open.
Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Usman Khawaja, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 George Bailey, 5 Glenn Maxwell/Travis Head, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood
Pitch and conditions
On Saturday, the pitch was hard and offered something for the fast bowlers early, before slowing up a little later in the first innings. There was reverse swing available for Australia’s bowlers as well. The short boundaries at Warner Park always give batsmen the chance to post big totals.
Stats and trivia
- Australia and West Indies last met in an ODI at Warner Park in 2008, when Luke Ronchi smashed a 22-ball half-century that was then the second-fastest in Australia’s ODI history. David Hussey surpassed it later in the same innings with a 19-ball fifty
- West Indies’ previous ODI at Warner Park was a memorable one for two of their batsmen – Denesh Ramdin, who slammed 169, and Darren Bravo, who made 124 in a 91-run win over Bangladesh
- Mitchell Starc needs five wickets to complete 100 scalps in ODIs. If he does so in his next four games, he will be the quickest man in history to the milestone
“I think it’s going to be a high-scoring ground. It’s a small ground, a very good pitch for batting. There’s not much room for error on the bowlers’ part.”
West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin
“We know that given a small ground, the impact that the big players the West Indies have, we’re going to have to be on from ball one and really hit our lengths and not miss our mark.”
Australia batsman David Warner
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