Australia has started their ODI campaign against West Indies with a bang, beating the hosts by 133 runs via the DLS method.
With Alex Carey captaining the side for the first time and three players on debut, Australia batted with resolve before turning it on with the ball.
The victory was essentially sealed inside the first eight overs of West Indies’ attempted chase of a revised target of 257 to win from 49 overs.
Mitchell Starc (5/48) and Josh Hazlewood (3/11) each picked up three wickets in their first four overs to leave the hosts on the ropes at 27/6.
Starc tasted success with the first ball of the innings when he removed Evin Lewis caught and bowled for a golden duck. He struck again in his next over, bowling Jason Mohammed (2) with a trademark yorker and made it three in as many overs when he trapped Nicholas Pooran in front for a duck.
Not to be left behind, Hazlewood got in on the act in his second over, taking a simple catch off his own bowling to dismiss Shimron Hetmyer (11). The seamer struck again in each of his next two overs, having Darren Bravo (2) caught at cover and Jason Holder (0) on the ropes as he finished his first spell with figures of 3/11 from six overs.
A 68-run stand between Kieron Pollard and Alzarri Joseph (17) rebuilt the innings but hopes of a miracle victory always looked slim.
Mitchell Marsh (1/7) brought the fighting partnership to an end in the 19th over when he bowled Joseph.
Starc’s return in the 23rd over ended whatever hopes West Indies had of a comeback, with the quick having Pollard caught in the slips for 56 before wrapping up the eighth five-wicket haul of his ODI career by blowing Akeal Hosein’s front pad away for a duck.
Adam Zampa (1/39) brought the match to a close with the dismissal of Hayden Walsh Jr (20) in the 27th over.
Earlier, Australia were held to 252/9 from their 49-overs in a rain-affected innings, with a 104-run stand between Carey (67) and Ashton Turner (49) providing the backbone of the innings.
Josh Philippe, making his debut alongside Ben McDermott (28) and Wes Agar, was the first man out for Australia, bowled for 39 as Hosein (2/50) ended a 51-run first-wicket combination.
Wickets at regular intervals from there saw the Australians reduced to 114/4 in the 26th over when Turner joined Carey in the middle.
Captaining the country for the first time, Carey rebuilt Australia’s innings with Turner, bringing up his half-century in 72 balls, accelerating as his score grew.
Having taken 72 balls to raise the fifty-run partnership, Carey and Turner only took another 35 deliveries to bring up their hundred-run stand.
Just as the duo looked set to launch, Walsh Jr worked his magic. A late addition to the ODI squad, Walsh Jr finished with figures of 5/39, taking the first of those wickets in the 45th over.
Australia finish their 49 overs with a total of 252/9.— ICC (@ICC) July 20, 2021
Hayden Walsh Jr the best of the @WindiesCricket bowlers, claiming his maiden five-wicket haul.#WIvAUS | https://t.co/cdaTby2bSH pic.twitter.com/rel5E129k2
The leggie bowled Carey to open his account and four balls later drew a top edge from Turner that landed in the hands of deep square leg.
He collected another two wickets in his next over, accounting for Starc (8) and Matthew Wade (3) before wrapping up a maiden ODI five-for by dismissing Agar (9) in the final over.
The spinner went on to score 20 with the bat and the hosts will be hoping for another stellar performance from him when they take on Australia in the second ODI on Thursday.
Tuesday’s victory lifts Australia to third on the Cricket World Cup Super League Standings with 50 points, one more than India.