West Indies 191 for 6 (Pooran 59*, Holder 52, Starc 3-26) beat Australia 187 (W Agar 41, Hosein 3-30) by four wickets
Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder rescued West Indies from more top-order troubles to level the ODI series in Barbados in the match that was delayed by 48 hours after the Covid-19 scare in the home side's camp.
In the end it was Australia's collapse that proved decisive when they crumbled to 45 for 6 as left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein claimed three wickets in six balls. The last four wickets turned the innings around by adding 142, which included a 59-run ninth-wicket stand between Adam Zampa and Wes Agar, then when West Indies slipped to 72 for 5 - with Mitchell Starc again brilliant - there was the chance of a remarkable resurgence.
However, Pooran and Holder played with excellent composure knowing that the required rate was never an issue. Pooran was given lives on 26 and 49, the first when Moises Henriques spilled a simple chance at mid-off, and Holder was reprieved by the DRS but it was a well-constructed stand during which Holder brought up his first ODI fifty since the 2019 World Cup while Pooran was unbeaten to finish things off.
Even though the toss remained from two days ago, West Indies had given permission for Australia to make a change to their XI with Agar replacing Josh Hazlewood who had been managing a calf niggle and hadn't been able to get the usual treatment due to two days of isolation while everyone in the bubble was retested.
West Indies struck in the opening over when Ben McDermott nicked a wide delivery from Sheldon Cottrell's second ball and after Josh Philippe had briefly shone he picked out deep square leg with a pull.
Cottrell's first spell had been just two overs as he left the field but his replacement, Holder, made a significant inroad when he produced an excellent delivery to take Mitchell Marsh's outside edge.
Then it was over to Hosein. There was no captain's innings from Alex Carey this time as he was comprehensively beaten through the gate by a fantastic delivery that spun sharply from quite wide. Henriques' disappointing tour continued when he edged a drive to slip, a reward for Hosein throwing his line a touch wider to entice the shot.
Two balls later, he produced another gem, dropping a delivery on the middle and leg which then ripped past Ashton Turner's edge to take middle stump. At that point, a very early finish was a possibility.
Starc and Matthew Wade started a rebuild with a stand of 51 which was broken by Hayden Walsh Jr who had Starc lbw sweeping, via the DRS, having survived the same mode of dismissal on 7 when the review system overturned the decision. On both occasions, the umpire was Joel Wilson on a day he had four decisions overturned.
Wade never found fluency but had little choice but to try and bat through the innings. However, the revival then came from the unlikely pairing of Zampa and Agar in a stand of 59 in seven overs which included Agar twice clearing the rope as West Indies became a little ragged in the closing stages until things ended in consecutive deliveries.
It did not take long for a target of 188 to look much more challenging on a challenging surface. Starc was again on-song in his first spell as he pinned Evin Lewis lbw - having seen the opener saved from a caught behind in the opening over - and produced another pearler for his collection to extract Darren Bravo's off stump.
Spin then made an impact as Zampa caused plenty of problems with his googly, firstly removing Jason Mohammed with some help from the pad and then going right through Kieron Pollard. Between those wickets, Turner, a part-time offspinner, struck with his second delivery in ODIs when Shai Hope, who had played superbly against Starc, ran past one that slid on to take off stump.
While that was a smart piece of captaincy by Carey, it also highlighted one of Australia's problems as they lacked the second frontline spinner which West Indies possessed. Alongside the absence of Hazlewood, it left a lot on the shoulders of Starc and Zampa who couldn't conjure another breakthrough in time - although Zampa should have done when Pooran was shelled with 65 still needed.
In the over following that miss, Holder pulled debutant Riley Meredith for six over deep square leg which saw McDermott clatter into the boundary borders as he tried to reach the catch and hobble away.
The rest of the chase was not without the occasional nervy moments particularly when Starc had Holder lbw with 23 needed. Pooran, who earlier became the third-fastest West Indies men's batter to 1000 ODI runs, went to 49 with a six off Turner and brought up fifty when Wade could not hold a top edge at slip which he was moving the wrong way for. There was then a sigh of relief when Starc finished his 10 overs.