CANBERRA, Jan 29: All-rounder James Faulkner grabbed four wickets for 54 and hit an unbeaten 44 to help the Australian Prime Minister’s XI defeat the West Indies in their tour opener at the Manuka Oval here on Tuesday.
Tasmanian Alex Doolan was the top-scorer for the Australians with 87 and Usman Khawaja made 69 out of a total of 333- 6.
The West Indies never gave up on the massive run chase despite losing opener Kieran Powell to cramps when he was unbeaten on 92 off 97 balls and threatening to go on the rampage.
Ramnaresh Sarwan, returning to the side after more than a year after a dispute with the West Indies board, made a steady 63.
But it was Andre Russell, who had injured a knee fielding and gone off for treatment, who almost saved the game.
He put on a dazzling display of power batting to keep the tourists alive in the dying overs.
Russell was finally caught by Jono Dean on the boundary off Faulkner. He smashed 54 off 24 balls, including five sixes and three fours.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy holed out for just three, the tail failed and the ninth wicket fell 23 runs short of the target.
The PM’s side rattled up early runs after captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat.
The West Indies attack often looked rusty and speedster Tino Best went for 84 for one wicket off his 10 overs despite regularly breaking 150 kilometres per hour.
Spinner Sunil Narine limited the damage and picked up two wickets, including that of Ponting, for 32 runs off his allotted overs.
Local boy had Dean raced to an impressive 51 off 40 deliveries, including two sixes and eight fours before he was caught off Dwayne Bravo.
Khawaja was also finding boundaries off some wayward bowling and looked composed on his way to 69 off 81 balls.
Ponting however was bowled for 15 runs from a straight one off Narine in the first day/night game at the Manuka Oval following the installation of lights.
The West Indies play the first of five One-day Internationals at the WACA Ground in Perth on Friday and wrap up the tour with a Twenty20 International in Brisbane on Feb 13.—AFP