In the highly intense and aggressive battle, Australia have kept their winning momentum in-tact with a 15-run victory over the Windies team at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Thursday. This is the second win for Aaron Finch and Co. in this 50-overs quadrennial tournament. Australia’s innings with the bat was divided into two halves, wherein first the Windies bowlers delivered excellent performance to rattle the Aussie top-order quite early.
But then the duo of Steve Smith and Nathan Coulter-Nile batted extremely well to power their team towards a pretty challenging first innings total. In the second innings, Shai Hope and skipper Jason Holder did bat nicely to keep the Windies in the hunt, but then Mitchell Starc showed his class by picking up a match-winning five-wicket haul to take the Aussies home.
Coulter-Nile and Smith's brilliant performance propel Australia to 288
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Australia got off to a horrendous start as they lost the prized scalps of skipper Aaron Finch and David Warner quite early. The pair of Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell also got out very soon leaving behind Australia in a troublesome situation at 38 for 4. The trio of Russell, Thomas and Cottrell bowled sensationally well to rattle the Aussie top-order.
After the early jitters, Smith and Alex Carey stitched a vital stand of 68 runs to resurrect the innings. However, it was the century partnership between Smith and Nathan Coulter-Nile that helped Australia make a phenomenal comeback in the game and finish with an imposing total of 288 runs. Smith played a brilliant innings of 73 runs, while Coulter-Nile was also exceptional during his attacking 93-run knock. For Windies, Brathwaite ended with three wickets, while Thomas, Russell and Cottrell claimed two scalps each.
Starc’s fabulous five-wicket haul hinders Windies’ progress
Windies also got off to a pretty poor start as both their openers, Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle got out very quickly with just 31 runs on the board. The duo of Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope then resurrected the Windies innings with an excellent partnership of 68 runs. Pooran played a quick-fire knock of 40 runs before falling victim to leg-spinner Adam Zampa in the 20th over. However, even after Pooran’s dismissal, Hope continued his stunning form, notching up a fine half-century to keep Windies hopes alive in the run-chase.
Shimron Hetmyer failed to convert his start of 21 runs into a bigger innings as he got involved in a big mix-up with Hope. Aussie fast bowler Pat Cummins then also plucked out the prized scalp of Shai Hope to help his team register a definite comeback in the game. After Hope’s dismissal, Windies skipper Jason Holder took the onus on himself to lead his team from the front in this chase. Andre Russell smacked a couple of gigantic sixes and a boundary in his cameo of 15 runs, but his innings was cut short by a fantastic catch taken by Glenn Maxwell.
But Holder kept on his focus and racked up an amazing half-century, however, he was up against a champion bowler, Mitchell Starc, who bowled a magnificent spell to get the better of the opposition. The left-arm speedster picked up the vital wickets of the troika of Windies all-rounders, Holder, Russell and Carlos Brathwaite and eventually the Aussies successfully restricted West Indies to 273 for 9 in 50 overs. For Australia, Starc bowled exceptionally well to pick up five wickets along with an impressive economy, while Cummins scalped two crucial wickets.
Australia: 288/10 in 49 overs (Nathan Coulter-Nile-93, Steve Smith-73; Carlos Brathwaite 3/67, Andre Russell 2/41)
Windies: 273/9 in 50 overs (Shai Hope-68, Jason Holder-51; Mitchell Starc 5/46, Pat Cummins 2/41)
Result: Australia won the match by 15 runs.
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