AUSTRALIA VS WEST INDIES SECOND ODI
After an elementary win at the MCG on Friday, Australia will be looking to wrap up the series with another victory over the West Indies in the second ODI at the SCG. The Aussies took charge early in Melbourne with debutant Xavier Bartlett wreaking havoc with the new ball, picking up 4/17 off nine overs as the Windies were knocked over for 231 before a trio of half-centuries to ‘keeper-batsman Josh Inglis (65 off 43 balls), all-rounder Cameron Green (77 not out off 104 balls) and skipper Steve Smith (79 not out off 79 balls) ensured that the hosts sauntered home for the loss of only two wickets and with 69 balls remaining. There wasn’t too much for the visitors to get excited about, save for a 110-run partnership between talented right-hander Keacy Carty (88 off 108 balls) and all-rounder Roston Chase (59 off 67 balls) which threatened to drag the Calypso Kings to a competitive total before they lost their last six wickets for 62, while their bowling attack looked decidedly pedestrian and could yet be reinforced by vice-captain Alzarri Joseph.
Following the procession at the MCG Australia are an even shorter price to repeat the dose on Sunday. As impotent as the Windies were on Friday, I just can’t bring myself to take such skinny odds on the home side, especially with World Cup hero Travis Head added to the list of absentees, whilst Bartlett will also be rested, albeit replaced by first-choice seamer Josh Hazlewood.
Australia displayed a rejigged batting order in the series opener and one of the more surprising moves was shifting Inglis from the middle-order to face the new ball but he certainly looked at home, spanking ten fours and one six in a belligerent performance. Moreover he will have felt like he left plenty of runs out on the field after succumbing to an ill-judged reverse-sweep so I fancy this time he will really go on with it and post a monster score against the anaemic Windies attack.
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