Starc bowls Australia to victory
Starc bowls Australia to victory
Set 267 to win after Bailey’s unbeaten 125 rescued the Australian innings, the West Indies were cruising at 159 for three in the run chase, before the return of Starc to the attack turned the match again as the tourists were bowled out 212 in the 39th over.
Starc (5-32) had claimed the first three wickets in the West Indian innings, all lbw, to have them reeling at 33 for three, but when he came back into the attack the Australians were struggling, with opener Kieran Powell and Dwayne Bravo putting on a century partnership for the fourth wicket.
However, the left-armer, who took 5-20 as the Australians routed the West Indies for 70 in Friday’s opening game en route to a nine-wicket victory, struck two more telling blows.
After spinner Glenn Maxwell ended the Powell and Bravo partnership at 126 runs by having the latter caught behind for 45, Starc removed Powell, adjudged lbw for 83 on a decision review and Devon Thomas (0) in successive balls to claim his second five-wicket haul in as many matches.
Thomas was given out in quite bizarre circumstances, with umpire Nigel Llong giving the batsman not out on a caught behind appeal, but third umpire Asad Rauf reversing the decision despite the apparent lack of any evidence at all to suggest the West Indian hit the ball.
When Darren Sammy fell for eight a short time later, the West Indies had lost 5-20 and slumped to 179 for eight.
Sunil Narine (24) briefly lifted West Indian hopes when he belted four sixes in a row off Maxwell (4-63), before being stumped from the last ball of the same over.
Earlier, brilliant catching by the West Indies had Australia in deep trouble at 98 for six, before Bailey steered a spirited fightback that saw the home team make 266 for seven from their 50 overs.
Bailey, who described Starc as an “extraordinary talent,” said Australia’s total exceeded even their own expectations after the poor start.
“When James (Faulkner) came out we thinking let’s get it to 200,” he said.
“To end up with more than 260 was a bonus.”
Bailey reached his century by blasting Kemar Roach over mid-wicket for six in the 49th over.
He then finished the innings in style, hitting three sixes in the final over from Bravo as the Australians plundered 25 runs.
Bailey hit 30 runs from the last six balls he faced in the innings, facing 110 deliveries overall and hitting 10 fours and four sixes.
Having had the Australians under pressure with both bat and ball, Powell was pleased with the improved performance, but said the West Indies didn’t make the most of their efforts.
“We didn’t take the opportunities we had,” he said.
“But there are lessons to be learned and lots of positives.”
Juan Antonio Pizzi is still the right man to lead Saudi Arabia, says former Green Falcons boss
- Saudi Arabia's 1996 Asian Cup-winning coach Nelo Vingada backs Pizzi to lead side into next year's Asian Cup.
- Green Falcons face Egypt on Monday with both looking to land their first point in Russia.
MOSCOW: Saudi Arabia’s 1996 Asian Cup-winning boss Nelo Vingada has called on the country’s football authorities to keep faith with head coach Juan Antonio Pizzi despite a disappointing showing in Russia.
The Green Falcons still have to face Egypt in the final match of Group A, but have already been eliminated following a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Russia in the opening game on June 14 in Moscow and a 1-0 loss to Uruguay five days later in Rostov.
“I was expecting a little more from Saudi Arabia to be honest,” Vingada told Arab News.
“In the first game they were disappointing but a first game of the World Cup is always hard and especially when it is the first game and everyone is watching. Plenty of teams at the World Cup did not play well in the first game.
“But playing Russia in Russia and to lose is what you would normally expect from Saudi Arabia and while it was far from positive, people should not get carried away.
“The game with Uruguay was much improved in terms of organization and defense and it showed more of the character of the Saudi Arabia team.”
In the past, coaches have been axed following disappointing World Cup campaigns but with the 2019 Asian Cup just seven months away, the Portuguese tactician would prefer to see some stability rather than yet another new man in the dugout.
“The Asian Cup is in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will be one of the contenders,” Vingada said. “It is better to stay with the same coach. He has a vision of how he wants the team to play and he now knows the players and the players know him.”
Constant changing has not helped Saudi Arabia in the past and Pizzi himself has been in the job just seven months.
“The problem is not the coach. He should not be changed, that has happened before but results did not improve, but the mentality has to change.”
Despite that Vingada, who has coached Egyptian club giants Zamalek and the country’s Under-23 team, believes that the Pharaohs, also eliminated, will prevail when the two regional rivals meet on Monday in Volgograd.
“This is an important game for pride, the players and the countries. It is still the World Cup. Egypt have a little more quality I think and have Mohamed Salah too.”
The Liverpool striker has been recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in late May and missed the opening game 1-0 loss to Uruguay. He played in the second game, a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Russia, scoring from the spot late in the match to earn a consolation.
“Any coach would take Salah because he can win you games but overall Egypt have been a little disappointing and a little unlucky.”
The bad luck came when conceding a last-minute goal to Uruguay and a fluke own goal to get Russia off the mark. “Uruguay are a tough team and it is no shame to lose 3-1 to a Russia team at home who are playing to qualify for the next round. It showed that European and South American teams still have a little more quality.”
“Egypt just made some mistakes at the wrong time but this is football and without mistakes there are no goals.”
Ahead of the clash against Egypt Pizzi confirmed his intention to stay as Saudi Arabia boss, looking to build on the seven months he has had to imprint his ideas on the team ahead of the Asian Cup.