Australia kicked off their ODI series against the West Indies with a commanding performance, defeating the visitors by 8 wickets in the 1st ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on February 2, 2024. The match saw standout performances from debutant Xavier Bartlett and all-rounder Cameron Green, guiding Australia to a comprehensive win.
Bartlett’s Dream Debut
Xavier Bartlett made an immediate impact in his debut ODI appearance, showcasing his skills with the ball. The 25-year-old Queensland pacer finished with impressive figures of 4 for 17, wreaking havoc in the West Indies top order. His ability to swing the ball both ways troubled the batsmen, leading to key breakthroughs early in the innings. Bartlett’s performance earned him the second-best figures on ODI debut for Australia, highlighting his promising talent.
Green’s All-Round Brilliance
Cameron Green delivered a stellar all-round performance for Australia. After contributing with the ball by picking up 2 crucial wickets for 40 runs, Green displayed his batting prowess with an unbeaten 77 off 77 balls. His composed innings at No. 3 provided stability to the Australian chase, guiding his team to victory alongside Steven Smith.
Inglis and Smith Shine with the Bat
Josh Inglis, opening for only the second time in ODIs, played a blistering knock, scoring a quickfire 65 off just 43 balls. His aggressive approach set the tone for Australia’s chase, allowing Green to settle into his innings. Steven Smith, the stand-in skipper, played a crucial role with an unbeaten 79 off 79 balls, anchoring the innings with calm and precision.
West Indies’ Batting Efforts
Despite a valiant effort from Keacy Carty, who scored a career-best 88, and Roston Chase’s gritty 59, the West Indies were unable to post a challenging total. Bartlett’s early strikes and Green’s effective bowling limited the visitors to 231 all out. The West Indies middle order showed resilience, but they failed to capitalize on their starts, ultimately falling short of a competitive total.
Australia’s Clinical Chase
Chasing 232 for victory, Australia got off to a shaky start with Travis Head departing early. However, Inglis’ explosive innings provided the momentum Australia needed. Green and Smith then built a steady partnership, guiding their team to victory with ease. Australia reached the target with 11.3 overs to spare, showcasing their batting depth and composure under pressure.
Australia’s dominant performance in the 1st ODI against the West Indies sets the stage for an exciting series ahead. Bartlett’s impressive debut, Green’s all-round brilliance, and the contributions from Inglis and Smith highlighted Australia’s depth and versatility. The West Indies will look to regroup and bounce back in the upcoming matches to make the series more competitive.
This victory gives Australia a 1-0 lead in the series, setting the stage for an intriguing contest in the remaining ODIs.