Australia vs West Indies women’s cricket series: Uproar over classy act

The Aussie women’s cricket team laughed it off, but not everyone is laughing.

The Aussies were thwarted of a third consecutive win against the West Indies on Thursday as rain ruined the second ODI in Melbourne on Thursday.

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As heavy showers struck the Junction Oval, Aussie players were seen dashing from the dressing room to help the five-person ground staff team pull the covers over the pitch.

Players risked injury as they joined in as they rushed to help the staff in an attempt to protect the pitch from further damage in farcical scenes as the match ended in a draw with just 25 overs bowled.

West Indies players quickly moved inside after rain interrupted the match for a second time, but the entire Australian team sprinted to the boundary as they fought to preserve their strong grip on the ODI series.

NCA NewsWire reports acting captain Alyssa Healy said the lack of hands on deck is something for future discussion.

“Disappointed is probably not the right word. I don’t think they would have been able to get the covers under control without a little bit of help, and fortunately our team was willing to jump in there and do that,” Healy said.

“I’m not disappointed by that, it’s just the nature of what happened out there. That came in really quickly and the wind made it really troublesome for the four guys who were trying to make that happen, so we were more than willing to help.

“Look, if there were more hands on deck they might not have needed as long to get the ground ready potentially to get back out there and play some cricket, so maybe that’s something for discussion.”

Australia spinner Alana King after the day’s play shrugged off the concern about the lack of staff at the venue.

“(I’ve done it) a fair few times at club cricket,” she joked.

“I think it’s just trying to help out the ground staff as much as we could – they were a bit short today, so just trying to make it light work and everyone just chipped in.

“I was wondering who was going to get flipped first with the massive gust of wind … we tried our best but unfortunately the rain just got too much.”

Former Aussie cricket star Sarah Elliot said on ABC the Aussie side is “just an all round classy team”.

However the scene has also raised concerns about the level of professionalism involved off the field.

Australia had reduced the visitors to just 8-107 after 25 overs following a more than three-hour rain delay, which had shortened the match to 29 overs per side.

Destructive West Indies captain Hayley Matthews returned from injury but it mattered little as Australia again ripped through the visitors’ batting line-up.

After her incredible exploits in the T20 series, Matthews was sorely missed in the first game as her side was skittled for 83, but an almost identical scene unfolded in rain-affected conditions in Melbourne as Australia tore through the visitors.

Matthews and opening partner Rashada Williams made a fast start, but the game turned after the West Indies star chopped a Kim Garth delivery onto her stumps.

The dismissal triggered a stunning collapse from 0-34 to 8-81, as King’s inclusion despite the soggy conditions paid off in spades with a three-wicket haul.

King ripped a flighted delivery past the outside edge of Stafanie Taylor to bowl the West Indies star before she trapped Shemaine Campbell in front of her stumps.

Annabel Sutherland followed with three strikes of her own to mark her 22nd birthday in style, claiming 3-6 from her five overs.

The two sides shook hands before 4pm on Thursday after match officials decided play would no longer be possible due to the mix of wet weather and poor light.

To the frustration of the Australians, less than 20 minutes later the rain had stopped and the sun was shining over the ground.

The final match of the ODI series will be played on Saturday.

— with NCA NewsWire

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