Australia's batsmen will not remember this tournament with enormous fondness, for reasons as much self-inflicted as they were to do with awkward conditions. The starts made by Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith and George Bailey rounded off a competition in which only the injured David Warner passed three figures. This is not to say that none of the aforementioned batsmen have managed to get themselves going. Finch epitomised the sense of opportunities missed this day when he rushed to 47 from a mere 41 balls before falling prey to a change of pace from Kieron Pollard. Finch's anguished reaction summed up a feeling that he, like some teammates, had left a few runs in the middle.
Never dull, the latest Glenn Maxwell interlude lasted four balls for as many runs. He started off with a leave, then next an open-faced run of the ball to backward point. Things began to get a little more Maxwell-like from there - another delivery outside off stump from Shannon Gabriel drew an outside edge that flew low to the right of Denesh Ramdin and scuttled away to the third man boundary, drawing an impish grin from Maxwell. And then, almost as quickly as he arrived, Maxwell was gone, lbw to a fast and well-directed ball from Gabriel that demonstrated a technique that can still be quite porous amid the audacity.
Earlier this year, Matthew Wade threw his head back in frustration when he was caught on the boundary against New Zealand in Wellington, having mis-hit a pull shot. The fact he did not make great connection at the time was underlined at Kensington Oval when, in the midst of a fighting hand that helped build a decent Australian total, he nailed a trio of sixes. All were struck with tremendous power, and all three were across the line to deliveries going across him. Carlos Brathwaite encouraged the last of these by offering up a full toss, but even then Wade had demonstrated enough power to mean he shouldn't be worried about being plucked on the boundary.
Slow wicket bowling skills have occasionally looked lost on Australian seam bowlers over the years, a far cry from when the likes of Geoff Lawson used to delivery cutters, swingers and seamers with skill and parsimony on a parched SCG pitch. However in the midst of Mitchell Marsh's match-shaping spell he showed the virtues of sending the ball down across the seam, with a delivery that did for Marlon Samuels. In the previous two encounters between these sides, Samuels had been formidable, but this time he could do nothing about a ball hat landed on the seam, stopped in the wicket, and drew a front edge to short cover. Marsh celebrated passionately, not just in taking a vital wicket, but in doing so with a method that showed good understanding of prevailing conditions.