The ODI series between Australia and West Indies got underway today at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). This is the first match in the format for the hosts after winning the World Cup beating India in the final on November 19, 2023. However, the Aussies have rested most of their players from that squad for this series and that resulted in them handing debuts to Lance Morris and Xavier Bartlett, both fast bowlers.
The duo shared the new ball as well and it was Bartlett who drew first blood off his third ball in international cricket. He started his first over bowling back and short of length deliveries but the third delivery was pitched up only for the ball to nip away sharply. The batter, meanwhile, didn’t anticipate the movement and played the wrong line only to see his off-stump go for the toss.
It was a dream delivery to get the first international wicket from Bartlett as the West Indies opener Justin Greaves was dismissed for one run in the second over of the innings. The day only got better from here for the debutant as he ended up picking four wickets for just 17 runs registering second best figures for Australia on ODI debut. After nipping out Greaves, he picked up wickets of Alick Athanaze, Shai Hope and Gudakesh Motie making it fruitful outing first up for himself.
As for the West Indies, they recovered after a poor start. They were 59/4 at one stage in the 16th over but then Keacy Carty and Roston Chase adding 110 runs for the fifth wicket. Both of them reached their respective half-centuries scoring 88 and 59 runs respectively but got out at the wrong time as the visitors collapsed again in the death overs in search for quick runs. West Indies were bundled out for just 231 runs in 49th over and will be hoping for their bowlers to step up.