Australia thumps WIndies, seal ODI series

Sydney, Feb. 5: Man of the match Sean Abbott grabbed three wickets and slammed an entertaining 69 as Australia cruised to an 83-run victory over the West Indies in the second one-day international to seal the three-match series on Sunday.

Chasing 258-9, the visitors were dismissed for 175 in the 44th over at a humid Sydney Cricket Ground.

Abbott starred with 3-40 while Josh Hazlewood took 3-43.

It was Australia’s 11th consecutive ODI win to wrap up the series with a match to play in Canberra on Tuesday.

Australia won the first game in Melbourne by eight wickets and while it was a more disciplined bowling performance by the West Indies, their batters struggled against the hosts’ relentless attack.

“I thought we stuck to our guns really well in the bowling department,” said West Indies captain Shai Hope. “But the Aussies bowled very well and we need to find a way to bat a bit more freely.” The West Indies run chase started with a flourish as Alick Athanaze slammed successive boundaries off Aaron Hardie.

But he was out the following ball for 11 and fellow opener Justin Greaves (eight) went the next over with Hazlewood — back in the side for rested Melbourne bowling hero Xavier Bartlett — doing the damage. When Kjorn Ottley was out for eight, caught behind off Abbott, they were struggling at 34-3.

Hope and Keacy Carty ground out a 53-run stand, but it took them 14 overs.

Hazlewood returned to bowl Hope for 29 and when Abbott accounted for Carty (40), the West Indies were 108-5 with the match slipping away.

Hazlewood struck again to remove Matthew Forde lbw and the night was capped by a sensational one-handed diving catch by Cameron Green to dismiss Roston Chase.

Earlier, Abbott hit 69 off 63 balls to help Australia post a respectable score after slumping to 167-7.

Explosive 21-year-old Jake Fraser-McGurk was handed a debut in place of Travis Head, but failed to fire after the West Indies won the toss and sent Australia in, out for 10 to Alzarri Joseph.

Joseph struck again seven balls later to remove Josh Inglis for nine, caught at backward point.

Green and Smith had steered Australia to their resounding win in Melbourne with an unbeaten 149-run stand.

But they were unable to repeat the feat with Forde bagging the key wicket of Smith, who chopped on to leave Australia tottering at 50-3.

Green added 39 with Marnus Labuschagne before he lofted Oshane Thomas to mid-on and was gone for 33.

Labuschagne (26) again failed to convert a start to a big score, with spinner Gudakesh Motie picking up his wicket before removing dangermen Aaron Hardie (26) and Matt Short (41).

Abbott then put on 57 with Will Sutherland — another debutant — before a late flurry took him to only his second one-day half-century.

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