X marks the spot as brilliant Bartlett blasts through Windies batters with sizzling spell on debut


Debutant quick Xavier Bartlett’s has claimed the second-best figures by an Australian on ODI debut to put his team in the box seat to triumph against the West Indies.

After being sent in to bat by stand-in Australian captain Steve Smith, the Windies managed to post just 231 on what appears to be a good batting wicket at the MCG.

Bartlett, a key member of the Brisbane Heat’s BBL title run, tore through the tourists’ top-order to have them reeling at 4-59 and he finished the innings with figures of 4-17 from nine overs.

The Windies, who travelled to Melbourne buoyed after securing their remarkable first Test win in Australia since 1997 last Sunday, fought back from the early carnage through Keacy Carty and Roston Chase.

But with Carty nearing his first ODI century, the 26-year-old was run-out in chaotic circumstances for 88.

Hayden Walsh was desperate to avoid facing debutant speedster Lance Morris, taking off for a run that was never there, as Sean Abbott threw down the stumps to dismiss Carty and end the Windies’ hopes of posting a defendable total.

Carty and Chase (59) put on a 110-run fifth-wicket stand, but no other player scored more than Walsh’s 20.

Bartlett was the star as two Australian debutants opened the bowling at home in an ODI for the first time since Andy Bichel and Anthony Stuart did so at the Gabba in 1997.

The Queensland pacer bowled Justin Greaves with his third delivery in international cricket, and was 3-8 after his first five overs.

Carty departs after an excellent knock of 88.

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Bartlett returned for a late spell, picking up a fourth wicket to go past spinner Stuart MacGill for the second-best figures by an Australian on ODI debut.

Only Tony Dodemaide, a current Australian selector, has done better in his first ODI, taking 5-21 against Sri Lanka in 1988.

Morris, who was presented pre-game with his Australian cap by World Cup hero Travis Head, ended with figures of 0-59 from 10 overs in his first international match.

Xavier Bartlett celebrates at Melbourne Cricket Ground. (Photo by Morgan Hancock – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Just five of the 11 members of Australia’s World Cup-winning team took to the field as the likes of Pat Cummins rest before the tour of New Zealand.

Wicketkeeper Josh Inglis was one to take his spot despite testing positive to COVID-19.

Inglis was using a separate dressing-room area and remaining distanced from teammates on and off the field to try and avoid them becoming unwell too.

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