Australia lifted another one-day trophy. Mitchell Marsh proved again. His tremendous bowling performance helped his side to beat West Indies in the tri-nation series final in Barbados. It was a fine achievement by Australia. The all-rounder finished with bowling figures of 3-32.
After seven overs bowling Marsh gave just eight runs. If he would continue at that same rate for his remaining three overs his economy rate would be 1.1. It would have seen him sandwiched between Shane Warne and Dennis Lillee on the list of cheapest 10-over spells for Australia in ODIs. A couple of boundaries ruined those hopes but in truth, the most important part of Marsh’s spell came much earlier.
The 24-year-old Marsh through the Windies middle order with his stump-to-stump bowling, picking up wickets in the 17th, 19th, and 21st overs to completely turn the match on its head after the hosts made a steady start to their run chase.
“We knew, after our batting innings, that bowling from this end was going to be a lot easier for the bowlers, because it was quite thatchy up that end and the cross-seam balls were catching on the wicket a little bit. ” Marsh said after the win
“We tried to utilise this end and it came off for us. I haven’t really taken a wicket all series, so it was nice to get a few tonight. I’m just enjoying the challenge of batting a bit higher up the order in the last couple of games … Tonight I got an opportunity to bowl up front and try and be a bit attacking, and it came off,” he added.
Marsh first removed Darren Bravo for 6. It was a huge wicket in the context of the series.The next one was Marlon Samuels. With the Windies innings now in free fall, Marsh completed his trio of tricks by trapping Johnson Charles lbw for 45. The Windies had gone from 1-62 to 4-72, while Marsh’s bowling figures were a barely-believable 3-6 from five overs.
The retirement of Watson made things a little easier, and most of Australia’s ODIs in 2016 have featured Marsh, a batting all-rounder typically at No.6, and Faulkner, a bowling allrounder at 7 or 8. But come the final of this tri-series against West Indies, the selectors decided that Faulkner was not part of their best XI. Marsh was declared Man of the Match.