West Indies recovered from another new ball assault from Australia’s attack to take out the second ODI and draw level in the series.
A match that concluded two days after it was initially scheduled to begin proved aptly unpredictable, with Australia’s top score coming from their No.10.
Chasing 188 to win, West Indies were teetering at 72/5 at one stage before a 93-run stand between Nicholas Pooran (59*) and Jason Holder (52) turned the tide of the match to set up a four-wicket win.
The victory lifts West Indies to sixth on the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League standings with 40 points.
Both Pooran and Holder notched half-centuries to help West Indies tie the series 1-1 with a match to go.
The Australians were left to rue a dropped catch from Moises Henriques in the 27th over when West Indies still required more than 60 runs to win and another by Matthew Wade when they still needed 17.
Pooran was the man to enjoy both lucky breaks, first driving Adam Zampa (2/43) straight to Henriques on 26, with the usually excellent fielder spilling the simple catch. His second life came on 49 as he edged Ashton Turner (1/37) to slip where Wade could not hold on.
In his next over after the Pooran reprieve, Zampa thought he had trapped Holder in front for 43, only for the dismissal to be overturned on review as replays confirmed a thick inside edge.
The all-rounder’s innings finally came to an end on 52 when he was struck in front of the stumps by Mitchell Starc in the 35th over with West Indies needing 23 runs to win. Removing Pooran would have opened the door for Australia but the wicketkeeper-batter managed to see the hosts home from there.
Pooran and Holder came together in the 15th over following an electric start from the Aussie attack. In the first over of the chase, Starc (3/26) had Evin Lewis adjudged lbw only for the decision to be overturned on review. He did not have to wait much longer to get his man however, removing him lbw for one before bowling Darren Bravo for a golden duck with his next legal delivery.
Zampa opened his account in the ninth over, dismissing Jason Mohammed (11) with a googly before Turner took a wicket with just his second delivery in ODI cricket, bowling the well-set Shai Hope in the 14th for 38.
Zampa struck again in the 15th over, bowling Kieron Pollard (2) with a brilliant wrong'un and at that stage it was advantage Australia. Slowly but surely Pooran and Holder turned the tide of the match from there.
A huge wicket for @CricketAus and the hosts are in trouble now.— ICC (@ICC) July 24, 2021
A beautiful googly from Adam Zampa has accounted for Kieron Pollard to leave West Indies 74/5 after 15 overs.#WIvAUS | https://t.co/iuzdJVUBXJ pic.twitter.com/aURxrih9AR
Two full days after electing to bat, Australia’s innings got off to an unideal start when Ben McDermott edged behind to fall for a duck to Sheldon Cottrell (2/29) in the opening over.
It was a sign of things to come with the Australians losing their first six wickets inside 13 overs. The situation rapidly deteriorated for the tourists from the seventh over onwards after Josh Philippe (16) was caught hooking off the bowling of Alzarri Joesph (3/39).
Just three deliveries after the opener’s dismissal, Mitchell Marsh (8) nicked off to Holder (1/41), drawn in by a ball on a fourth-stump line. Across two overs, Akeal Hosein (3/30) then tore through Australia’s middle-order, bowling captain Alex Carey (10) through the gate in the 11th before dismissing Henriques (4) and Ashton Turner (1) in the 13th.
Australia were in dire straits at 45/6 at that stage and looked in danger of being bowled out for less than a 100 only to be rescued by a 51-run stand between Wade and Starc.
Starc, known more for his power than his patience with the bat, showed plenty of resolve as he dug in for 19 runs off 43 balls before being trapped in front by Hayden Walsh Jr (1/32) with the score 96/7.
When Wade’s fighting knock was ended by Joseph on 36, a swift end to the Australian innings looked likely. Instead, Zampa (36) and Wes Agar (41) dug in to add 59 runs for the ninth wicket.
Zampa played the foil of the innings, making a career-best 36 off 62, while Agar freed his arms in a 36-ball 41 that featured two sixes and three fours. Agar’s effort was the second-highest by an Australian ODI batter at No.10, just behind Jason Gillespie’s 44 against the same opponents in 2005.
The stand was brought to an end in the 47th over when a Cottrell yorker made a mess of Zampa’s stumps, and the innings concluded at 187 all out on the very next ball as Joseph removed Agar.
The duo did enough to make a game of it but ultimately the top-order collapse proved too big a hurdle to overcome.
The two teams next meet in the series decider on Monday.