Cricket: Australia steamrolls West Indies batters in second ODI

Australia’s world-conquering women’s side has returned to its roots in Melbourne as players rushed to help ground staff cover the pitch with rain threatening to scupper a series victory.

The entire Australian team sprinted to the boundary to help ground staff unfold and run out the covers following another rain delay during the second ODI against the West Indies at the Junction Oval.

While the West Indies players quickly moved inside, stars including Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy took a turn down memory lane to their club cricket days as they assisted staff.

The unusual scenes come as the Australians fight to press on through the poor weather to secure a 2-0 series victory, with the West Indies once again crumbling to be reduced to 8-107 after 25 overs.

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.

With the match reduced to 29 overs per side at the Junction Oval after a more than three-hour delay, 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 leg-spinner Alana 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.

Australia is likely to be set a revised target, with an immediate innings change if the match resumes after the stoppage, as only 21 balls remained in the West Indies innings before the break.

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