Aus vs WI: Australia pacers Mitchell Starc and Nathan Coulter-Nile made their presence felt for the side in the 10th match of the ICC World Cup 2019 against the Windies on Thursday. While Starc recorded a five-wicket haul, accounting for the key wickets of Chris Gayle, Holder, Russell, Brathwaite and Cottrell. Nathan Coulter-Nile stepped in and delivered an impressive show with the bat when Australia was struggling to get past the 200-run-mark. Australia won the match by 15 runs and managed to stay unbeaten in the ongoing tournament.
Earlier, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Steve Smith saved Australia from an early slump to post a challenging 288 in 49 overs against West Indies in their World Cup clash.
Coulter-Nile scored a career-best 92 off 60 balls, his innings laced with eight fours and four sixes as he took the Windies bowlers to the cleaners after they reduced the Aussies to 38/4 inside the first eight overs after asking them to bat first.
Former skipper Steve Smith (73 off 103 balls; 7×4) started the fightback by holding fort at one end as batsmen fell around him, but once Coulter-Nile joined him in the middle after the dismissal of Alex Carey (45 off 55 balls; 7×4), the defending champions got the much-needed push, bludgeoning 43 runs in the last overs.
Smith and Coulter-Nile shared a 102-run stand for the seventh wicket off just 83 balls after Smith and Carey put on 68 to bring the team back in the game and wrest the advantage.
For the Windies, Carlos Brathwaite was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/67 as he cleaned up the tail, while Oshane Thomas (2/63), Sheldon Cottrell (2/56) and Andre Russell (2/41) did the damage up front.
Chasing 288 to win, Windies lost wickets at regular intervals and that did not help. Eventually, all they could muster is 273. One feels if they had wickets in hand they could have gone over the line.
” I remember Smith being on 81 and me not hanging around in a practice game, so I thought I would stick around a little bit. Played a pull shot the second ball and it went up, luck went my way – couple dropped safely and inside edged a few. That’s the way cricket goes. We back ourselves, we got two world class bowlers and Zamps. We back ourselves to defend anything. I felt it (the surface) quite hard – the wicket was a bit up and down but I settled in and got used to it,” said Coulter-Nile as he bagged the Man of the Match.
(With IANS inputs)