Queensland tearaway Xavier Bartlett has written himself into the history books, delivering the second best figures for a debutant in Australian cricket history.
Bartlett was outstanding as he got his country off to a stunner, taking 3/10 off his first six overs as the West Indies slumped to 3/37.
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The 25-year-old was monumental, finishing with remarkable figures of 4/17 from 9 overs as Australia bowled the Windies out for 231.
The performance was behind only current Australian selector Tony Dodemaide’s 5/21 off 7.2 overs against Sri Lanka in Perth back in 1988.
Worldwide, it’s the 15th best bowling figures on debut, while his economy rate of 1.89 was the 12th best in ODI history.
For the record, South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada took 6/16 off eight overs on his debut in 2015 as the best figures in history by an ODI debutant.
Even more incredibly for Bartlett, it was the first time he’d taken four wickets in a one-dayer with his best List A performance 3/43.
It was his BBL form that made him irresistible for the Aussies, taking 20 wickets in the Brisbane Heat’s title winning season.
“I’ve had a few lay-offs with injuries and have just been trying to hone my skills with our bowling coach in Queensland, Andy Bichel, he’s been really good for me,“ Bartlett said.
“Having that extended lay-off, which is frustrating, now standing here you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“But I still need to improve on a lot of things to get to where I want to get to.”
It was a big day for firsts as Bartlett and firebrand Lance Morris both opened the bowling on debut, the first time since 1997 when Anthony Stuart and Andy Bichel took the new ball.
Morris was unfortunately luckless, finishing with 0/59 off his 10 overs.
Sean Abbott (2/42), Cameron Green (2/40) and Adam Zampa (1/56) were the other successful bowlers for Australia.
But the fans were blown away by the Queenslander, taking to social media to celebrate a brilliant debut.
Speaking to Fox Cricket after the first innings, Bartlett had a few words.
“Dream come true, just absolutely stoked to be out on the MCG playing cricket for Australia,” Bartlett said.
He also revealed that it was Dodemaide who told him he would be debuting “a few days ago, to give me time to prepare”.
The World Cup champions were playing their first ODI match since the World Cup triumph in India in November but took a much different team into the match.
Aussie quicks Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were rested for the series while Steve Smith took over the captaincy.
After bowling first, Bartlett dominated the West Indians, leaving the visitors 4/59.
But a rescue mission from Keacy Carty (88) and Roston Chase (59), who combined in a 110-run stand, saved West Indies’ blushes and set a somewhat competitive score.
— with Russell Gould, NCA Newswire
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