Brisbane, Australia – West Indies demonstrated why they are the kings of Twenty20 cricket as they put on a spectacular show against Australia at the Gabba on Wednesday night.
The Windies blasted 191-6 off their 20 overs on a superb batting surface, and then restricted the home side to 164-8 off 20 overs in the one-off T20 International.
The World T20 champions recorded their first victory of the tour and in doing so also won their first match in Australia for 16 years. The last win was in the Test match at the WACA Ground in Perth back in February 1997.
Johnson Charles gave the innings a rollicking start with 57 off 35 balls – to follow up the century he made in the fifth ODI on Sunday. He added 88 with Darren Bravo (32) while allrounders Kieron Pollard (26 off 17 balls), Andre Russell – 23 not out off 11 balls, and Darren Sammy – 20 off seven balls provided an injection of power in the second half of the innings.
Pollard returned with the ball to take 3-30 – the best figures of his T20 International career – while Sunil Narine again proved too good for the Aussies with figures of 4-0-19-2. The magnificent allround performance earned Pollard the Man-of-the-Match award.
“We knew we had to come here and try to salvage something from the tour so the commitment was always there and the fight was there as well. We played as a team and came away with an excellent result,” said the 25-year-old Pollard.
“We went about doing what we needed to do. It is the shortest format of the game so you always expect it to be exciting, and we brought that excitement and entertainment with us tonight and put on a display for the crowd who came out to watch us.”
Pollard was one of the leading players in the West Indies team which won the ICC World T20 Championship in Sri Lanka last year. In recent matches he has hit top form – with an unbeaten century in the fourth ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground followed by 45 in the fifth ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He said Wednesday’s performance was needed after they endured a tough series in the 50-over format.
“It was good to get a win in the version of the game where we are the champions of the world. We lost the One-Dayers but everyone was still upbeat. We didn’t let the defeats get us down too much…we just knew we had to rebound and look to be dominant in tonight’s game. It was a matter of keeping our heads up and going out and ‘representing’ for West Indies cricket,” Pollard said.
“This match was good for me as I was able to do the job with bat and ball. No matter what job I’m called on to perform for the team I’m always up for it,” he said, adding: “I was pleased with my bowling. I have not been doing a lot of bowling recently, so I just tried to show what I can do…just do what the team needed at that particular point and time.”
The West Indies will depart from Australia on Thursday afternoon and are due to arrive back in the Caribbean on Friday afternoon.
Full Schedule of matches
Friday 1: 1st ODI – Australia won by 9 wickets at WACA, Perth
Sunday 3: 2nd ODI – Australia won by 54 runs at WACA, Perth
Wednesday 6: 3rd ODI – Australia won by 39 runs at Manuka Oval, Canberra
Friday 8: 4th ODI – Australia won by 5 wickets at SCG, Sydney
Sunday 10: 5th ODI – Australia won by 17 runs at MCG, Melbourne
Wednesday 13: T20I – West Indies won by 27 runs at the Gabba, Brisbane