It is often said that in the cricket game, you should never rule out the possibility of Australia making a comeback and the duo of Steve Smith and Nathan Coulter-Nile fitting proved the saying right. In the tenth game of the World Cup 2019 extravaganza, the Windies bowlers got their team off to a brilliant start by picking some quick wickets at the top, but then Smith and Coulter-Nile led the sensational Australian fightback with a century partnership.
Cottrell, Russell and Thomas puts Australia on the mat
West Indies captain Jason Holder won the toss and opted to field first because he mentioned that it is a good track and they are hoping to take some early wickets. Right-arm speedster Oshane Thomas proved his skipper’s decision correct pretty quickly by removing the Aussie captain Aaron Finch in just the fourth over of the innings. The joy doubled up for Holder as his bowler duo comprising of Sheldon Cottrell and Andre Russell picked up the prized scalps of David Warner and Usman Khawaja cheaply. Glenn Maxwell also got out very soon leaving behind Australia in a complete mess at 38 for 4.
The pair of Steve Smith and Marcus Stoinis then led their team to some sort of respite by adding a brief partnership of 31 runs before the latter got dismissed for a 23-ball 19. Holder bowled a beautiful delivery to get the better of the Australian all-rounder. But Smith never lost his focus by looking the flurry of wickets at the other end.
Coulter-Nile and Smith combine together for an excellent century partnership
Smith then led Australia’s progress further in a vital stand of 68 runs along with wicket-keeper Alex Carey. But again Russell brought his team back in the game by removing Carey, who was looking in a solid touch during his 45-run innings. The duo of Smith and Nathan Coulter-Nile then resurrected the Australian innings out of the troublesome situation. Smith brought up his impressive half-century in the 36th over and compiled a sensational partnership of 102 runs together with paceman Coulter-Nile. Cottrell then took an exceptional catch in the outfield to sent Smith back into the pavilion for a well-made knock of 73 runs.
Coulter-Nile played his career-best innings of 92 runs that came off just 60 balls and included of eight fours and four sixes. He lent solid support to Smith and rather played the role of an aggressor. Towards the end, Carlos Brathwaite picked up two wickets in a single over to end the Australian innings for a total of 288 runs in 49 overs. For West Indies, Brathwaite finished with three wickets, while the trio of Cottrell, Russell and Thomas picked up two scalps each.
Australia 288/10 in 49 overs (Nathan Coulter-Nile-92, Steve Smith-73; Carlos Brathwaite 3/67, Andre Russell 2/41) vs Windies.