ODI Cricket 2023: ‘Absolute beauty’: Marnus Labuschagne screamer destroys West Indies for Lance Morris’ first international wicket

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Cricketer’s don’t forget their first wicket for their nation but Lance Morris won’t have any issues with that.

Australia have torn the West Indian batting order apart with a ruthless display with the ball as they bowled the visitors out for just 86 in 24.1 overs at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

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While the West Indians had showed some fight this summer — even winning a Test — the final match of the ODI series in what was already a dead rubber was always unlikely to get the tourists to show their best.

With Morris and Xavier Bartlett returned to the side, the Aussies blew the Windies away.

Having gone wicketless in his ODI debut in the first match of the series at the MCG last Friday, Morris was desperate to get on the board.

After a solid start, the Windies were 1/36 when Morris came on, the quick snagged his first wicket with a screamer from Marnus Labuschagne.

Keacy Carty, who had been the Windies’ best batter all ODI series, went for a drive on the up through point only for Labuschagne to snatch it out of the sky.

While it was hit uppish, it was flashed hard and took plenty of catching for the Queenslander, but he still got both hands to it in a brilliant grab.

“That’s a catch and a half,” Mark Howard screamed for Fox Cricket.

“That is an absolute beauty, flying away is Marnus Labuschagne, got two hands to it like a goalkeeper — top shelf.”

“Maccas classic if you don’t mind,” Brett Lee added.

Mark Waugh, who is one of Australia’s greatest catchers, called it “a beauty”.

Another said: “Marnus Labuschagne is an insane fielder.”

Another fan posted: “Marnus the fielder itself holds a spot in ODIs. His fielding + batting played a major role in Aussies winning the WC. He delivered against England and India got unlucky run-out during the AFG chase where he played out the hard conditions. Gun player with consistency to follow.”

It’s been a tough summer for Labuschagne who has scored 252 runs at an average of 28 this summer across Tests and ODIs, including three 50s.

While it’s solid enough when Australia’s batters have struggled at times over the summer, Labuschagne’s batting has been a long way from his lofty standards.

Over 2023, Labuschagne averaged 34.91 in Test matches with just one hundred in 25 innings, a long way down from his career average of 50.82.

While his average was up to 45.89 in ODIs as he forced his way into the Australian World Cup winning side, where he played every match, the star hasn’t made the impact he would have liked to this summer with the bat.

However, in the field, the 29-year-old has been exemplary.

Morris claimed a second wicket as well, bowling debutant Teddy Bishop for a duck as the Windies dropped to 4/44.

But the day didn’t finish well for Morris who left halfway through his fifth over with a side strain.

Fellow second gamer Bartlett backup his 4/17 at the MCG in his first match with 4/21 in Canberra, becoming the first Aussie to have eight wickets in his first two matches of ODI cricket.