Starc holds nerve as Australia hold off fast-finishing West Indies

By Sports Desk July 14, 2021

Mitchell Starc held his nerve at the death to guide Australia to their maiden win of the T20I Series by four runs after the West Indies almost blasted their way to victory from an improbable position on Thursday.

Chasing 189-6, the West Indies needed 57 from 24 balls with five wickets left after Mitch Marsh took two wickets in an over, before fireworks from Fabian Allen (29 from 14) and Andre Russell (22* from 13) turned the game on its head in St Lucia.

The pair combined for four sixes from five balls in the penultimate over from Riley Meredith, needing 11 off the final over but Starc sent down five dot balls to Russell in the last to earn Australia a win which makes the series 3-1.

Australia captain Aaron Finch had won the toss and elected to bat, starting strongly with the skipper making 53 from 37 balls alongside Mitch, who top scored with 75 from 44 deliveries, in a 114-run stand.

The tourists stumbled in the middle order again, losing 40-5 with Hayden Walsh taking three wickets, before some late hitting from Dan Christian and Starc lifted them to a strong total.

The West Indies flew out of the blocks in their pursuit with Lendl Simmons posting 72 from 48 before the outstanding Marsh (24-3) dismissed him, along with Nicholas Pooran in quick succession.

All seemed lost for the hosts at 132-5 but Allen and Russell offered hope, before Starc's clutch final over.

Related items

  • 'Our planning looks terrible' - legendary WI captain Lloyd questions team's decisions for batting line-up 'Our planning looks terrible' - legendary WI captain Lloyd questions team's decisions for batting line-up

    Legendary West Indies captain Clive Lloyd has questioned the team’s level of planning, particularly when it comes to its batting line-up on the back of two dismal performances to start the T20 World Cup.

    The defending champions have been handed back-to-back losses at the hand of England and then South Africa.  Both losses were underpinned by underwhelming performances at the crease, which first saw the West Indies dismissed for 55 and then in the second match collapsed to 143 for 8 all-out after a promising start at 73 for 1.

    Following its substandard showing against England, the team tinkered with its batting line-up promoting Nicholas Pooran up the order while pushing Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer further down.

    “I think the planning season to be all over the place,” Lloyd said in assessing the team’s performances thus far, on the Mason and Guest radio program.

    “I think if you look at what has happened.  Fifty-five runs, we are much better than that.  Our planning seems to be terrible. (Against South Africa) We had a wonderful start, and we didn’t promote people in the proper order,” he added.

    “You expect the captain to come up when you are going at 9 an over, to continue, but you send Pooran who hasn’t been batting well and you have Hetmyer who has been batting well and making very good scores.  So, the batting order seems to be all over the place.”

    Lloyd believes that for the team to be successful someone has to take control of the batting order.

    “At one stage the prediction was 174 and we were down to so, but somewhere along the line, we feel like this game is about hitting sixes.  We are getting caught on the boundary, it’s a big ground.  If I’m at 58, I’m looking to get to 80 or 90, get more runs and take the game away from the opposition.”

  • Jason Holder called into West Indies World Cup squad as replacement for injured Obed McCoy Jason Holder called into West Indies World Cup squad as replacement for injured Obed McCoy

    Former West Indies captain has been included in the West Indies T20 World Cup squad as a replacement for injured left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy.

  • T20 World Cup: Namibia hold nerve to overcome Scotland T20 World Cup: Namibia hold nerve to overcome Scotland

    Namibia made a winning start to their T20 World Cup Super 12 campaign with a four-wicket victory over Scotland at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

    Scotland were bowled out for just 60 in their heavy loss to Afghanistan in their first Group 2 match but they at least got over the 100 mark on this occasion as they set Namibia a target of 110.

    After losing George Munsey to the very first ball, Calum MacLeod and Richie Berrington followed soon after to the bowling of Ruben Trumpelmann without adding any runs to Scotland's tally.

    With wickets falling fast, Michael Leask at least gave Scotland something to bat for with 44 runs off 27 balls as they reached 109-8.

    Michael van Lingen made a positive start to Namibia's innings with 18 runs before being bowled out by Safyaan Sharif – making his 50th T20I appearance for Scotland – and Zane Green (9) was not far behind.

    Craig Williams (23) and David Wiese (16) piled on further scores and, while Scotland did manage to take the game to the final over, JJ Smit (32 not out) got Namibia over the line with five balls to spare.

    Namibia play their trump card

    The writing was on the wall for Scotland when they lost three wickets for two runs in the first over, with player of the match Trumpelmann responsible for each of those.

    He finished with 3-17 and watched on as his team-mates batted to victory with four wickets left to play with.

    A new Leask of life

    Scotland had just a glimmer of hope as a couple of Namibia wickets fell towards the end, but even that glimpse of a win would never have been possible if not for the earlier batting of Leask.

    His stint was ended by Smit, who perhaps appropriately went on to seal the victory for Namibia with a six over point as the African minnows reached 115-6.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.