Twenty years ago, almost to the day, Allan Border won the toss and batted before Curtly Ambrose obliterated Australia at the WACA ground in a spell of 7 for 1. Whirring the ball down with speed and fiendish late swing, Mitchell Starc paid homage by splintering the West Indies in a burst of 4 for 1 to set up a facile nine-wicket victory, achieved with all of 244 balls to spare.
This time it was the touring captain Darren Sammy who paid a heavy price for choosing to bat first on a lively surface. Australia’s pitiful 74 against Sri Lanka at the Gabba is no longer the lowest score of the limited-overs summer, it’s now the West Indies total of 70 that was only reached after some late-order resistance following an earlier free-fall to 5 for 19. It was the most meagre total in all ODIs between the two countries, extras (17) providing the top score.
Ever the tactical opportunist, Australia captain Michael Clarke promoted Glenn Maxwell to open, and his supercharged half-century ensured the target was gobbled up inside 10 overs. Maxwell crashed 18 from Kemar Roach’s first over, and may find himself opening again after such a star-turn. In all, only 33.1 overs were required to complete the match. Read more