‘Most of those dismissals were pretty ordinary’: Waugh blasts top order before Abbott counter-attack saves Aussies


Australia’s top order peeled off a procession of soft dismissals before all-rounder Sean Abbott rescued the home side with a career-best knock in the second ODI at the SCG on Sunday.

The understrength Australians were aggressive from the get-go but slumped to 5-91 in the 17th over before Abbott spearheaded a lower-order fightback with 69 off 63 deliveries on his home pitch as they finished on 9-258.

“It ended up a decent score but I don’t think Australia batted very well at all,” said Mark Waugh on Fox Cricket commentary.

“Most of those dismissals were pretty ordinary.”

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The West Indies have three wickets in the opening powerplay.

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Australia blooded two more international debutants in Jake Fraser-McGurk and Will Sutherland while Josh Hazlewood was brought in for opener Travis Head, express quick Lance Morris and MCG player-of-the-match Xavier Bartlett, who have been rested after the tight turnaround from their ODI debuts.

Fraser-McGurk, a shining light with the bat for the Melbourne Renegades this summer, smashed a four and a six from the first over of the match but nicked off for 10 off five.

The innings showed he has explosive power but the 21-year-old lacks the maturity and experience to build an innings.

Opening partner Josh Inglis failed to back up his whirlwind half-century in the series opener, departing for nine to a careless shot which was caught at gully off Test paceman Alzarri Joseph, who had been brought into the Windies XI for spinner Hayden Walsh.

Kjorn Ottley will come in at first drop for the tourists, with Keacy Carty dropping down the order and Kavem Hodge bowing out in the only other change to their side.

Stand-in skipper Steve Smith didn’t last long, chopping on Matthew Forde for five.

First drop Cameron Green got off to a flyer with five boundaries and a towering six into the upper deck over mid-wicket but started to get bogged down and gave his wicket away with a reckless pull shot which ballooned to mid-on when he was 33.

Aaron Hardie bats during game two at Sydney Cricket Ground. (Photo by Jason McCawley – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

And when Marnus Labuschagne continued the trend of soft dismissals by driving a Gudakesh Motie half-volley to short cover on 26 just when it looked like he was set for a lengthy innings.

Emerging duo Matt Short and Aaron Hardie stemmed the tide with a 51-run partnership before they departed in quick succession.

Short (41) skied a hoick off Motie and Hardie (26) presented him with a return catch and with the Aussies at 7-167, they were in danger of falling short of 200.

‘That’s some bad luck’

Abbott drags on after his powerful 69-run innings comes to a close.

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However, Abbott made the most of a rare chance to build an innings with plenty of overs to spare and cleared the boundary twice on his way to 50 off 54 balls.

After Sutherland fell for 18 to a spectacular catch by Justin Greaves at cover, Abbott whacked another couple in a row into the SCG outer in the 49th over but was bowled trying for a third in a row off Romario Shepherd.

But by that stage he had filled his role superbly, lifting the total not only beyond 200 but into the 250-plus category to give himself and his fellow bowlers a decent total to defend.

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