Australia, after being sent in to bat on a cold and windy evening, posted an imposing total of 213-7.Warner, who joined the exclusive club of players with 100 internationals in each format alongside Ross Taylor and Virat Kohli, led the charge with an explosive innings. His knock included 12 fours and a six, providing a solid anchor to the Australian innings.
In response, the West Indies fought valiantly but fell short, managing 202-8 in their allotted overs. Adam Zampa played a pivotal role in Australia’s bowling attack, claiming three wickets for 26 runs.
Overall, Warner’s milestone innings and Zampa’s effective bowling performance contributed to Australia’s victory in the series opener, setting the stage for an exciting contest in the remaining matches.
“Pleasing to get the win on the board. I feel refreshed and have a lot of energy,” said Warner.
“I said I want to play the Twenty20 World Cup and finish there and I’m excited and it’s a good journey we’ve got going through the next six months.”
The West Indies made an explosive start to their chase, hammering 16 runs off the opening over bowled by Jason Behrendorff, setting the tone for an aggressive pursuit of Australia’s target. The opening pair put on an impressive 72 runs without losing a wicket in the six-over powerplay, narrowly trailing Australia’s first six overs.
However, the momentum shifted when Johnson Charles was dismissed for 42 by Adam Zampa, followed by the departure of Brandon King for 53 off Marcus Stoinis after their formidable 89-run partnership. Subsequent wickets further dented the West Indies’ chase, with Stoinis accounting for Shai Hope (16) and Glenn Maxwell removing Rovman Powell (14).
With key wickets falling, the West Indies found themselves needing 72 runs from the final five overs. Despite a valiant effort, Zampa’s crucial wickets in quick succession proved decisive, making the required run rate insurmountable. In the end, the West Indies fell short, unable to secure the win as Australia emerged victorious in the opening clash of their three-match series.
“We struggled to get partnerships, but it was a good game of cricket,” said West Indies skipper Powell. “We just have to back ourselves a little bit more.”
Warner made a spectacular impact, smacking five boundaries from his first 10 balls, four of which came in Holder’s opening over. The 37-year-old left-hander continued his aggressive approach, reaching his 25th T20 half-century off just 22 balls, sending a clear message to selectors about his intent to be a part of the World Cup later in the year.
Warner’s innings came to an end when he gloved a slower delivery from Alzarri Joseph, resulting in a catch behind the stumps by Nicolas Pooran. With Travis Head and Steve Smith rested, Josh Inglis joined Warner as the opener and showcased equal aggression, scoring a quick 39 off 25 balls before being removed by Holder, offering Rovman Powell a simple catch at mid-off.
Despite Mitchell Marsh dealing with Covid in the lead-up, he showed little ill effects, contributing to Australia’s strong performance by hitting a giant six off Andre Russell.
However, he was eventually caught behind off Joseph after scoring 16 runs. After Warner’s departure, the run rate eased momentarily before Tim David took charge, playing an explosive and unbeaten innings of 37 off 17 balls, adding valuable runs to Australia’s total in the latter part of the innings.
(With AFP inputs)