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Bowlers, Warner give Australia opening win

Lyon, Zampa pick up three wickets each as Smith's men chase down the West Indies' 116 with six wickets to spare

Bowlers, Warner give Australia opening win
 - Cricket News
Nathan Lyon was named the man of the match for his 3 for 39.
Australia surged to a six-wicket victory after its spinners strangled the West Indies batting order on Sunday (June 5) in the second match of the tri-series at the Providence National Stadium.

Nathan Lyon, the offspinner who was named the man of the match for his 3 for 39, and Adam Zampa, the legspinner who snared 3 for 16, bamboozled the West Indies batsmen with their spin and guile. Mitchell Starc, the left-arm paceman, was brilliant on his return to international cricket, ending with 2 for 37 as the trio helped mow down the hosts for 116 in 32.3 overs.

Johnson Charles (22), the opener, and Carlos Brathwaite (21), the allrounder, were the top-scorers for the home side, which was unable to stop the Australians from reaching 117 for 4 in 24.5 overs, thanks to a solid batting effort from David Warner, the opener who stroked a run-a-ball, unbeaten 55 and Usman Khawaja, who carved five fours in his 27. Sunil Narine, the offspinner, was the pick of the lot for the hosts with 2 for 36.

Warner and Aaron Finch (19) wasted little time during the chase, attacking Narine and Jerome Taylor who were entrusted with the new ball; both batsmen had already scored three boundaries each by the end of the first Power Play.

Finch, attempting a flick, was caught plumb in front by Jason Holder as Australia lost its first wicket for 44. Khawaja then flicked the West Indies skipper for a boundary to fine-leg while Warner remained firm as Australia went into the interval at 54 for 1, needing just 63 more for victory.

Upon resumption of play, Warner and Khawaja ensured the runs continued to flow but Sulieman Benn’s knack of taking wickets came into effect as the left-arm spinner accounted for Khawaja, caught square of the wicket by Holder.

Holder then turned to trump card Narine who won an lbw appeal to dismiss Steven Smith and then knocked over Glenn Maxwell almost immediately. But with the target just 25 runs away, Warner reached his fifty as he and Mitchell Marsh took their side home with 146 balls to spare.

Earlier, after being sent into to bat, Australia got its first wicket with just six runs on the board, thanks to Starc’s early breakthrough. He removed Andre Fletcher with Maxwell taking a good catch at point. Charles was dropped by Smith off Josh Hazlewood, the skipper making a brave overhead attempt at slip.

Darren Bravo (19) crunched Starc for two eye-catching off-side fours before hammering Hazlewood through square-leg for his third boundary. Charles smashed Lyon for the first six of the West Indies innings, a thumping shot which sailed over the long-on boundary, as the home team reached 50 by the end of 11 overs. However, things began to go downhill when Bravo, who was nearly caught at mid-off playing a drive a few overs before, repeated the shot off Marsh and was caught by Zampa at extra cover.

Back for another spell, Starc uprooted the stumps of Charles who was unable to negate the late in-swing to a well-served up yorker. Lyon then struck twice in quick succession as West Indies slipped to 70 for 5 in no time.

Marlon Samuels was the first to go, lbw for 10, followed by Kieron Pollard who was sent back to the pavilion for a golden duck when he sought to impose his will from the get-go as he did against the South African spinners in the first game, but instead picked out Warner who was safe as houses at long-on.

Denesh Ramdin, the wicketkeeper, fell lbw in Maxwell’s first over, then Benn was caught and bowled by Lyon as the hosts slipped to 91 for 8. Narine got off the mark with a cover-drive off Lyon to break the shackles, giving West Indies their first boundary since the ninth over, but was stumped by Matthew Wade off Zampa attempting a charge down the track.

The innings ended long before the scheduled supper break as Zampa had Brathwaite caught by Finch at long-on after the allrounder had defied for some 48 deliveries.

Justin Langer, Australia’s coach for the tournament, credited his team's performance as well as Smith's decision to bowl first, praising his boys for playing well on a track that he said was difficult to bat on.

Australia will take on South Africa in the third match set of the tournament on Tuesday.

Click here to view the full scorecard.

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