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PICS: Australia escape to victory over Windies

Last updated on: June 06, 2019 23:48 IST

Starc bags five wickets after Smith and Coulter-Nile show.

Images from Thursday's World Cup match between Australia and the West Indies, in Nottingham.


Mitchell Starc

IMAGE: Australia's Mitchell Starc celebrates with Adam Zampa and teammates after taking the wicket of West Indies' Jason Holder during Thursday's World Cup match at Trent Bridge. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Australia fought back from a precarious position after a top order collapse to post a healthy total and then bowl out the West Indies and win their World Cup match by 15 runs, in Nottingham, on Thursday.

The defending champions, put in to bat, staged a stunning recovery through Steve Smith and Nathan Coulter-Nile after the West Indies fast bowlers ripped through their top-order to put up 288 in 49 overs.

In reply the West Indies could muster only 273 for 9 in their 50 overs.


Mitchell Starc led the Windies demolition with figures of 5 for 46 from his 10 overs, while Pat Cummins had figures of 2 for 41.

Nathan Coulter-Nile

IMAGE: Nathan Coulter-Nile led Australia's fightback against the West Indies, scoring 92 off 60 balls. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Earlier, the Australians were in all sorts of trouble against the short-pitched deliveries unleashed by the West Indian pacers, who extracted a lot of bounce and seam movement from the Trent Bridge track initially.

They lost four quick wickets for just 38 runs by the eighth over, Aaron Finch (6), David Warner (3), Usman Khawaja (13) and Glenn Maxwell (0) all falling cheaply.

Steve Smith

IMAGE: Steve Smith walks back disappointed after getting out to a brilliant catch by Oshane Thomas on the boundary. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

But, Smith led a remarkable fightback with a 73 off 103 deliveries while Coulter-Nile unleashed a late onslaught with an unbelievable 92 off 60 balls to enable the Aussies, who had easily beaten Afghanistan in their first match, put up a healthy total.

Coulter-Nile, who hit eight fours and four sixes, went on to become the highest run scorer by a number eight batsman in a World Cup. This was his maiden fifty, in his 29th ODI. His previous highest was a 34 last year.

Sheldon Cottrell celebrates with his West Indies teammates after dismissing David Warne

IMAGE: Sheldon Cottrell celebrates with his West Indies teammates after dismissing David Warne. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

From 79 for five in the 17th over, the Australians clawed their way back to 119 for five at the half-way mark. With Smith and Coulter-Nile growing in confidence, they were 206 for six at the end of 40 overs, before adding 81 runs in the final nine for five wickets.

The spadework for the fightback was done by Smith, who, in March, came out of a 12-month ban for his involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Coming out at the team’s total of 26 for two in the fourth over, he played a defiant yet solid innings to hold the Australian innings together. He hit seven boundaries for his 20th ODI fifty and first after his international comeback.

IMAGE: Oshane Thomas celebrates taking the wicket of Aaron Finch. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Wicketkeeper batsman Alex Carey chipped in with a 55-ball 45, which was studded with five boundaries, for an invaluable 68-run stand for the sixth wicket with Smith to resurrect the Australian innings before Coulter-Nile played the innings of his life.

For the West Indies, who had a four-pronged pace attack, Carlos Brathwaite was the most successful bowler with 3/67, while his fast bowling colleagues Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell and Andre Russell took two wickets apiece. 

IMAGE: Pat Cummins celebrates taking the wicket of Evin Lewis. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Chasing 289 for victory, the West Indies found runs hard to come by before crumbling towards the end.

Starc turned the match on its head by claiming three wickets in two overs in the ‘death’ after dismissing Chris Gayle (21) and Andre Russell (15) earlier.

The West Indies needed 38 from the last five over, with four wickets in hand, but Starc removed Carlos Brathwaite (16) and captain Jason Holder (51) in the space of four balls in the 46th over before returning to dismiss Sheldon Cottrell (1) in the 48th to grab his fifth wicket and end the Caribbean side's run chase.

IMAGE: Chris Gayle asks for a DRS review. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Australia thus notched their second victory in the tournament, having defeated Afghanistan in their first match, while the West Indies suffered their first defeat after beating Pakistan.

Shai Hope top-scored for the West Indies with a 68 from 105 balls while Nicholas Pooran made 40 and Holder 51.

The match also saw umpiring howlers, with Gayle apparently at the receiving end. Television replays showed that the delivery before his dismissal in the fifth should have been a no-ball as Starc overstepped his crease. That would have meant that the delivery which removed Gayle should have been a free-hit.