Smith, Green guide Australia to crushing win over Windies

Australia’s Steve Smith celebrates victory after the first one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Australia and the West Indies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on 2 February, 2024AFP

Skipper Steve Smith and Cameron Green eased Australia to a crushing eight-wicket victory over the West Indies with a dominant 149-run stand in the first one-day international in Melbourne on Friday.

Smith finished unbeaten on 79 off 79 balls and Green, batting at number three, was 77 not out from 104 balls as Australia cruised to the winning target of 232 with 11.3 overs to spare.

Opener Josh Inglis set up the platform with a pulsating 65 off 43 balls, including 10 fours and a six.

It was Australia’s 10th consecutive ODI win, including their World Cup victory in India last year, and the pressure will be on the West Indies to prevent a series clean sweep.

It was all too easy for Australia, with Travis Head the only batting failure with four off five balls.

Debutant Australian paceman Xavier Bartlett was named the man of the match with 4-17 off nine overs, initiated by a wicket with only his third delivery.

“An amazing way to start, amazing to contribute to a win. Couldn’t ask for much more,” Bartlett said.

“I’ve watched Steve Smith on TV for the last 10 years, to be out there now and be captained by him now is quite surreal.”

Green raised his half-century off 62 balls, with Smith’s 50 coming off 58 balls.

Inglis’s fifty was powered off just 28 balls after he plundered three boundaries off Matthew Forde’s fourth over and swatted a huge six off Oshane Thomas over deep square leg.

But Inglis was out attempting to reverse-sweep Gudakesh Motie only to lob a catch to slip. When he departed, Australia were 83 for two and in the box seat in the 12th over.

Earlier, Keacy Carty was denied a century in the West Indies innings in a run out mix-up. He looked primed for his maiden ODI century before he was badly burnt by his batting partner Hayden Walsh and was run out for 88 off 108 balls.

Bartlett, playing in his first ODI along with fellow paceman Lance Morris (0-59), had a dream start, taking the top of Justin Greaves’s off-stump with a big inswinger for one and picked up Alick Athanaze in his following over, caught behind for five.

Bartlett had the ball swinging appreciably and claimed the big wicket of skipper Shai Hope, caught at first slip by Matthew Short for 12, leaving him with 3-8 in five overs.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa broke a flourishing 110-run partnership when Roston Chase attempted to sweep and was bowled for 59 off 67 balls.

Carty was closing in on his century before he was needlessly run out by a poor call from Walsh.

Walsh set off for an injudicious single and Sean Abbott at mid-off threw down the stumps with Carty well out of his ground. He left the ground visibly annoyed, 12 short of his hundred.

The second ODI takes place at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday.