Doherty spell leads Australia to opening win

Australia spinner Xavier Doherty took four wickets to lead the visitors to a 64-run victory over the West Indies in the first one-day international of their five-match series in Kingstown, St Vincent on Friday.

It was a familiar story of failing with the bat while chasing a modest total for the Caribbean side as they kicked off the series, which also includes three tests, in disappointing fashion.

Australia were restricted to 204 in their allotted 50 overs with only opener Dave Warner, who struck 40 from 55 balls, and George Bailey`s 48 on his one-day international debut able to master the tricky conditions for the visitors.

Dwayne Bravo was the most effective of the West Indies bowlers, picking up 3-58, while Kemar Roach`s pace and Marlon Samuels` off-spin also helped pin down the tourists on a slow track.

West Indies made a decent start to taking on what was a very achievable target with Samuels (35) and Dwayne Bravo (32) getting amongst the runs but when the latter was bowled by Daniel Christian, the floodgates opened.

Six wickets fell for just seven runs and only a late cameo from skipper Darren Sammy (35) offered any kind of resistance at the Arnos Vale Ground.

Doherty will take the plaudits for his fine spell of slow left-arm bowling, coming back well after being hit for three sixes in his first over by Samuels, but the Australian bowlers were helped by some awful shot selection from the hosts.

"It was a great way to start the tour... we know that on this surface we had a decent enough score," Australian skipper Shane Watson told reporters.

"They had a period with (Dwayne) Bravo and Samuels going after us but we had talked before that if we kept up some sustained pressure they could self-destruct a bit and they did that," he said.

While Watson was delighted with Bailey making the top score in his first ODI, he was full of praise for Doherty`s response to being blasted out of the attack.

"Xavier has improved, he has just developed his cricket over the last couple of years and now he has a number of different game plans that he can go to," Watson added.

"For me as a captain, he really is a pleasure to skipper because he knows that if things don`t go exactly right he has always got another way to be successful and he did that today with four wickets at a really crucial time".

The only real bright spot for West Indies was the all-round performance of Jamaican Samuels, but Sammy remained upbeat.

"We are very disappointed. Hopefully we can bounce back in the second match. We have two more games here and we have a history of getting better as a series goes on."

The two teams observed a minute`s silence prior to the start of the match in honour of Runako Morton after the former Leeward Islands captain and West Indies batsman died in a car crash two weeks ago.

The second match of the series is also in St Vincent on Sunday.

Bureau Report