The fifth match of the West Indies tri-nation series saw Australia take on West indies at Warner Park, Basseterre St.Kitts.Marlon Samuels did answer his critics in the right way as he produced an innings of substance by scoring 92 runs off 87 balls to steer his side to victory by six wickets. Earlier in the day, West indies won the toss and elected to field first. Usman Khuwaja did produce a splendid innings but fell short of a well-deserved hundred to be dismissed for 98 runs. He was adequately backed by Captain Steven Smith’s 74 runs and George Bailey’s 55 runs to set up a daunting total of 265 runs in 50 overs.
Samuels came back to form after going through a slump with highest score of 63 runs in his previous twenty seven one day games. He did produce his best as he struck eight fours and four sixes and was quite severe against the spinners, bludgeoning leg spinner Adam Zampa for three consecutive sixes. He did eventually fell on 92 runs
but Carlos Brathwaite and Kieron Pollard were at the crease to steer the side to win the game in 45th over. Dinesh Ramdin played a supportive role in the partnership with Marlon Samuels to get the West Indies close to the target.
Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles provided a superb start to the innings by putting up 74 runs in ten overs. Darren Bravo formed a good partnership with Samuels to stabilize the innings and lead the revival for the side to put 82-run stand for third wicket to see the game even up.
Earlier, Australia opener Usman Khuwaja produced a splendid performance after replacing the injured David Warner in the opening slot. Aaron Finch departed early but Smith arrived at the crease and soon started to press the initiative. Usman Khuwaja and Steve Smith produced 170 run stand to put Australia in commanding position. Khuwaja fell for 98 runs agonizingly short of his first one day century but it helped others like George Bailey to step and go for big runs to see Australia score 265 runs in 50 overs.
A win by West indies against Australia at St. Kitts means that South Africa will have to make all the effort to stay alive in the competition.