Big-hitting Kieron Pollard blasted a typically muscular 47 as the West Indies clinched their first win in almost six years over Australia when they took the second one-day international by five wickets on Sunday.
In a match reduced to 40 overs a side because of rain, Australia struggled to 154 for nine under cloudy conditions, with the West Indies reaching their Duckworth-Lewis target of 158 with 10 balls remaining.
Pollard top-scored with 47, an innings which featured four huge sixes, one of which, off spinner Xavier Doherty, cleared the Arnos Vale stands and ended on the runway of the neighboring E. T. Joshua Airport.
Carlton Baugh had the honor of hitting the winning runs, another six off the hapless Doherty which flew over midwicket as the home side finished on 163 for five.
Dwyane Bravo also played a crucial role, making 30 in a fifth-wicket partnership of 64 with Pollard which swung the game the Windies’ way after they had lost opener Kieran Powell to a first ball LBW off Brett Lee.
“It’s a good feeling, the team played much better today, the bowlers did well again and there was much more responsibility when chasing the runs,” West Indies captain Darren Sammy said.
“It was a total team effort. All in all we were searching for a win and we are glad we got over the line,” Sammy said. “From the last game, when we batted, there was not much change. Today we did what we had to do and I’m just happy we won one.”
Australian captain Shane Watson said his batsmen had come up short.
“In the end we were 20-30 runs short. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get big enough partnerships through the start or middle,” Watson said.
“Once the sun got on the wicket it seemed to settle a little more, but that’s the great challenge of playing in the West Indies and we have to adapt a little better,” he said. “It’s about getting the balance of the batting — the wickets are a little different from home.”
Australia won the first game at the same venue on Friday by 64 runs, their 15th win in their past 16 one-dayers against the West Indies, a run stretching back to the 2006 Champions Trophy in India.
The Windies, who suffered an embarrassing middle-order collapse on Friday when they lost six wickets for just seven runs, won the toss on Sunday and put Australia into bat.
David Hussey top-scored for the tourists with 37 off 62 balls, an innings which featured four boundaries before he fell to off-spinner Sunil Narine, who finished with figures of 4-27 off eight overs. Narine was named man of the match.
The start of play was delayed by rain before more showers forced the players off for 90 minutes when Australia were 16-0 after five overs.
Australia then slipped to 46 for three in the 14th over, with David Warner (13) and Peter Forrest (0) both dismissed by seamer Kemar Roach in the sixth over of the day.
Roach, desperate for a Test match call-up next month, finished with 2-23 off eight overs.
The next match in the series takes place at the same venue today with the two concluding matches in St Lucia on Friday and Sunday.