A day out for debutant Xavier Bartlett has propelled Australia to an eight-wicket win over the West Indies at the MCG.
The Queensland quick took 4/17 off nine overs, the best figures by an Australian on debut since Tony Dodemaide in 1988.
“It almost feels like it’s not real,” Bartlett said about his four-wicket haul.
“To get to contribute to a good team win is everything you dream of in your debut, so to do that tonight is really pleasing.”
Part of a new look ODI side, six changes were made to the side who brought the World Cup home, as Lance Morris also received his first cap.
The West Indies crumbled early after being sent into bat by stand-in captain Steve Smith. Xavier Bartlett put a stranglehold on the West Indies’ top order, taking 2/1 from his first two overs.
His six-over opening spell was highlighted by a dream opening wicket that saw the Brisbane Heat paceman hit the top of Justin Greaves’ off-stump. Playing his first game of 50-over cricket since September, the plan was simple for Bartlett when he was given the new ball.
“Obviously with a new ball, nothing really changes. You’re always trying to pitch it up and swing it,” he said.
“I think it was just when the ball stopped swinging and with a longer powerplay, I tried to bring my length back, keep the stumps in play a bit more and not give too much width.”
Losing 3/37 in the powerplay, a 110-run partnership between Keacy Carty and Roston Chase helped the Windies to a respectable total of 231.
Needing 232 for victory, Australia’s innings got off to the worst possible start as World Cup hero Travis Head was dismissed in the opening over. A quickfire 65 from keeper Josh Inglis prevented another boilover from ensuing.
Half-centuries to Cameron Green and Steve Smith guided Australia to their tenth-straight ODI victory.
Australia and the West Indies will play the second ODI at the SCG this Sunday.