Australia wins 1st one-day match vs West Indies
(AP Photo/Theron Kirkman)
PERTH, Australia (AP) Mitchell Starc took five wickets and opener Glenn Maxwell, who usually bats at No. 6, smashed an unbeaten 51 runs off 35 balls to lead Australia to a nine-wicket win over the West Indies with more than 40 overs to spare in the first one-day international Friday.
Starc (5-20) helped dismiss the West Indies, which won the toss and elected to bat first, for a paltry 70 runs off 23.5 overs before Maxwell's half-century guided Australia to 71-1 in 9.2 overs and in just 41 minutes.
Australia had already scored more than a quarter of the victory target after just five balls following Maxwell's early scoring burst during which he hit Kemar Roach for three fours and a six.
Fellow opener Aaron Finch made just 10 before he was caught behind, but it mattered little as Australia cruised to victory with several hours to spare. The match, scheduled to finish at 7:05 p.m. local time, was over by 2:16 p.m.
"At about (88-8), Pup (Clarke) came across and said it was going to be me and Finchy opening the batting and if I saw anything in my arc I was to go for it all guns blazing," Maxwell said.
"So I went out there and gave them my best crack. It's a lot easier up the top (of the order); a lot more fielders inside the circle and a lot more space in front of you. You can play your shots with a lot more freedom. I love opening and I love the freedom it gives you."
Game two of the five-match series will be played at the WACA on Sunday.
At 19-5, the West Indies were in danger of failing to pass the record ODI low of 35 set by Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka in 2004. Darren Bravo (11) and skipper Darren Sammy (16) ensured the West Indies avoided that embarrassment.
But the total was still the lowest ODI score at the WACA, failing to surpass the previous worst score of 91 set by Australia against the West Indies in 1987.
It was also the West Indies' third-lowest ODI total at any ground, only bettering the 54 they made against South Africa at Cape Town in 2004 and the 61 against Bangladesh at Chittagong in 2011.
"We know we have the ability to bounce back and that's what I will tell the boys," Sammy said. "Yes, it's going to be hard to wipe what happened of the memory. But we've had great games against them and we'll think about the positives.
"We need to dust ourselves off and believe we can be successful against them."
Clint McKay (3-10) snared the early wicket of Chris Gayle for 4 to set the tone. But then Starc took over, with Kieran Powell (11), Ramnaresh Sarwan (0), Dwayne Bravo (0) and Kieron Pollard (0) all falling victim to the left-hander.
Such was Starc's dominance, Pollard was basically dismissed twice in two balls by the paceman.
On his first ball, Pollard was given not out after a confident lbw shout from Starc. Australia opted to refer the appeal to the Decision Review System, which predicted the ball would have clipped leg stump.
However, given less than half the ball was hitting the stump, the umpire's original verdict of not out was upheld. Pollard then proceeded to inside edge the next delivery onto his stumps and leave the West Indies five wickets down.
"You can't really complain when you get a wicket like that and you get to bowl first," Starc said.
Updated February 1, 2013