Australia showed the value of versatility as they cruised to a 58-run victory over the West Indies and take the Tri-Nations title in Barbados.
South Africa could only watch from the sidelines after being humiliatingly bundled out by West Indies on Saturday morning, while Justin Langer celebrated his first tournament victory as coach. Australia ran up 270 and then set free Mitchell Marsh, who cut through the top order, taking 3-6 in four overs, and Josh Hazlewood (5-50) to wreak havoc.
But Australia owed their victory to the late emergence of Matthew Wade who, after a string of poor returns, hit form to run up a well-controlled 57 off 52 balls, with just two fours and three sixes, which gave much needed stability to the Australian innings, just as it was beginning to falter, losing two quick wickets to be 154-5 after 30 overs.
They were then reined in, scoring only 17 runs in seven overs, at which point Mitchell Marsh fell for 32 off 45. But it was the base Wade needed to open up, as the Australians hammered 97 runs off the remaining 13 overs at 7.5 an over.
Jonathan Charles was only one to hold the top order together in the face of hostile bowling from Marsh, scoring 45 of the West Indies offering of 72 in the opening 20 overs. And while Denesh Ramdin (40) and Keiron Pollard (20) stabilised the situation, the loss of Pollard at 115-5 saw the lower order fall away at regular intervals as they struggled to put together any meaningful partnership.