Last Match Report – AUS WMN vs W Indies (W) 3rd ODI 2023/24

 – Gudstory

Last Match Report – AUS WMN vs W Indies (W) 3rd ODI 2023/24 – Gudstory

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Australia 106 for 2 (Healy 32, Perry 25*, Connell 1-15) West Indies 103 (Williams 25, Sutherland 3-23, McGrath 2-10, Garth 2-14, King 2-20) with eight wickets.

A clinical bowling performance led by Kim Garth, Annabelle Sutherland and Alana King helped Australia to a dominant eight-wicket win over the West Indies and a 2-0 ODI series victory. But their victory at Junction Oval was slightly overshadowed by two controversial television refereeing decisions.
Sutherland claimed three wickets, while Garth, King and Tahlia McGrath picked up two each as West Indies were bowled out for just 103 inside 31.4 overs after being sent into bat. Then a 57-run better-than-run opening stand between Phoebe Litchfield and Alyssa Healy laid the foundation for a comfortable chase with Ellyse Perry and Beth Mooney finishing the job without any trouble with 34.3 overs to spare.
The only worry for Australia came when Ashley Gardner took a hit on her thumb on the field, which required an X-ray, but it was cleared of any damage.

Australia completely outplayed the West Indies, but controversial decisions from TV umpire Clare Polosak did them no favours, although they are unlikely to have had much of an impact on the result.

The West Indies were 38 for 2 in the 12th over, after Garth scored twice early including the big wicket of skipper Hayley Matthews for 23, when the first over went against them. Stafanie Taylor kicked the ball back to Sutherland, who dropped back at the player’s feet on her follow-up. Sutherland did a very good job of getting her right hand on the ground but the ball appeared to be lodged in her fingers after it touched the ground first. However, Polosak took a long look at several slow replays and was satisfied that Sutherland had put her fingers under the ball to complete the catch cleanly and Taylor was taken out.

Two balls later, in the next over from King, Polosak was called on again. This time, Shaymaine Campbell was given a pound by on-field umpire Eloise Sheridan and she immediately reviewed the decision. Campbell was trying to defend King on her front foot with her racket and front pad close together. Once again, Polosak needed to take a long look at the slow-motion replays to determine whether Campbell had hit the ball before it hit the pad. It seemed clear that the ball deflected off the racket as there was evidence on the UltraEdge and on replays to show the ball deflected. But Polosak determined that the ball touched the front plate first before hitting the inside rim and then deflecting. After it was considered to have hit the stand first, the ball’s tracking showed three red colours, with the ball hitting the middle stump below the height of the bail.

The decision caused Matthews to come out of the team’s dugout and express her frustration to the fourth official at the edge of the boundary.

West Indies coach Shane Dietz was interviewed by broadcaster Channel 7 shortly after. He said he believed Taylor’s catch was not correct but was measured in his analysis of the pound-for-pound decision.

“[It] β€œIt definitely looks like there was some at-bats and deflection from the bat to the stand, but it’s hard to tell,” Dietz said. “We just have to accept the decision and move on. The side referee can’t do much about it, so we’ll wait after the game and get the clarification. But it’s over, so we just have to move on.”

It left the West Indies in tatters at 39 for 4 and with no reviews remaining after Matthews had earlier burnt a single over a pound-for-pound catch off Garth. Even though they were off the reviews, they didn’t need them even though the next three batters also went down in weight. Chinelle Henry and Aaliyah Alleyne were both trapped in front and playing from the crease to straight balls from Sutherland.

King continued her run from where she left off on Thursday, causing problems for the West Indies bowlers with her sheer dominance. Rashada Williams was dropped at slip by Mooney after she hit the edge with a lovely leg break but later trapped Shabika Gagnabi at the crease with one that slid straight across.

Captain Healy bizarrely chose not to continue the devastating duo of Sutherland and King despite the pair taking five wickets between them, after six last Thursday, withdrawing them from the attack with the West Indies reeling at 80 for 7. With Gardner unavailable due to her thumb injury, Healy opted to give Georgia Wareham and McGrath a bowl instead, with the latter having not bowled since the second T20I in Sydney.

Wareham picked up Williams for $25 as she skated hard through the air to leave the visitors 84 for 8. But Cherry-Ann Fraser offered some brave resistance as she hit a huge six from Wareham over deep midwicket that ricocheted off the concourse and out of the ground onto Lakeside Drive. Karishma Ramharak hit a high kick on McGrath over the cover to find the rope but fell as she tried to replicate the potion that had barricaded Wareham, who was placed there soon after. Fraser was the last to fall, beating McGrath down the middle.

The chase was a straightforward affair with Healy and Litchfield barely taking any risks while finding boundaries at will with some great drives and clicks. The West Indies helped the Australian duo with some unfortunate ground pitches. Both editorials fell in an attempt to speed up proceedings. Perry and Mooney would not take such risks to see Australia at home.

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