Australia 288 (Coulter Nile 92, Brathwaite 3-67) beat the Windies 273 for 9 (Hope 68, Starc 5-46) by 15 runs
For the West Iindies this was a game of ifs and maybes. Four wickets in first four overs, a potential catch of the tournament, and Shai Hope’s spirited 68 couldn’t fetch them a victory. Four umpiring errors overturned by DRS and a missed no-ball before Gayle’s wicket delivery didn’t help. It did seem like like everything was against the them on as the game eventually slipped off their grasp.
After electing to bowl first, the West Indies did not have the ideal start. They conceded 10 runs in their first over thanks to Oshane Thomas’ wayward start. Thomas, however, came back with a cracking ball in his second over to remove the Australia captain Aaron Finch. In the same over, he rattled Khawaja with a vicious bouncer that rammed into his helmet.
Sheldon Cottrell, picked up the wicket of David Warner from the other end and left Australia stranded at 26/2 at the end of four overs. Captain Holder brought Russell into the attack and they stuck with their successful short-ball tactics, and it brought them more success. Khawaja shimmied down the leg-side expecting a short delivery, threw his hands at a close ball on the off stump, and edged one to the keeper.
In the eighth over, Cottrell got rid of Glenn Maxwell, who attempted a hook in his very second delivery, and skied a bouncer which was caught safely by the Wicket-keeper Shai Hope. Australia had lost their top four batsmen before the eighth over for only 38 runs.
Marcus Stoinis and Steve Smith steadied the ship for Australia, putting on a decent partnership of 45 before the Windies captain removed Stoinis for 19 runs. The ‘keeper Alex Carey joined Smith and put on another useful partnership but it was cut short by Russell, the Windies were back in a commanding position again.
It was Nathan Coulter-Nile who answered Australia’s SOS call, joining Steve Smith to take Australia from the depths of 147/6 to a competitive 284/9 by the time he left the crease. Steve Smith, at the other end played a responsible knock of 73 to ensure Australia’s comeback.
Carlos Braithwaite picked up three wickets while Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell and Andre Russell picked up two wickets each to dismiss the Australians for 288 at the end of 49 overs.
When the Windies came in to bat they lost Evin Lewis early to Cummins. Chris Gayle at the other end survived two close DRS calls, one for caught behind and the next one for LBW, but he could not survive a third as Starc fired one full at Gayle’s pad. Later, umpire Gaffeney was shown to have missed a no-ball in the delivery before the wicket.
Shai Hope then steadied the innings, bringing up important partnership with left handers Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer. The Australianw took some difficult, yet important catches to get the Windies reeling. Pooran was caught by Finch’s outstretched left hand while he was running backwards.
Russell smashed Zampa for a couple of sixes, but a top edge soon after saw Maxwell running backwards and juggling the ball into control. The Windies were now 216/6, still needing 73 runs.
With Carlos Brathwaite and captain Holder at the crease, the Windies needed 38 runs in the last five overs. Finch, expecting his best bowler to pick up wickets, handed the ball to Starc who delivered the final nail in the coffin for the Windies by picking both Brathwaite and Holder in the same over.