CAPTAIN Aaron Finch and his Australian cricket team breathed a sigh of relief late Wednesday evening, when they won the fourth T20 International encounter against the West Indies to avoid a series Whitewash at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground (DSCG).
The final T20I match was played last night at the same venue. We will report on that match in the next issue of the paper.
Meanwhile in Wednesday match, Finch won the toss for the fourth consecutive time in the series and opted to bat first. He and Mitchell Marsh batted well to put together a 114 -run partnership for the second wicket to give the Australians a strong platform, it was Australia’s 10th highest stand in T20Is.
Finch scored 53 off 37 balls which included five fours and three sixes, Marsh 75 from 44 deliveries – his highest individual score in the shortest format at the international level, he smashed 10 boundaries, including 6 sixes, during his breathtaking knock.
However, Australia’s middle-order again disappoint as they ended up losing four wickets for 20 runs following Finch’s dismissal (2 for 126 in 11.3 overs).
Alex Carey was sent back without scoring, caught and bowl Hayden Walsh Jr (3 for 126 in 11.4 overs), while Moises Henriques (4 for 135 in 12.4 overs) and Ashton Turner (5 for 146 in 15.1 overs) were removed for six runs each. Batting at No. 7, Daniel Christian provided some late fireworks, scoring 22 off 14 balls to take Australia’s total to 189 for 6 at a run rate of 9.45.
Bowling for West Indies, Hayden Walsh Jr took 3 for 27, Andre Russell 1 for 26, Oshane Thomas 1 for 31 and Fabian Allen 1 for 31.
The Windies got off to a good start in chasing 190 for victory with Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis providing early fireworks. However, Lewis fell for 31 from 14 deliveries bowled by Adam Zampa with the score on 62 after 4.5 overs and that changed things around a bit.
Following his breathtaking knock of 67 on Monday evening, Chris Gayle did not last too long, he was caught by Jason Behrendorff for just one off the bowling of Mitchell Marsh (86 for 2 in 7.2 overs), Andre Fletcher went back to the dugout for 6, bowled by Adam Zampa after struggling for a while (97 for 3 in 10.3 overs).
The West Indies were in control up to this point with Simmons playing a good knock in the middle. The home team lost their captain, Nicholas Pooran for 16, caught by Dan Christian off the bowling of Mitchell Marsh (4 for 132 in 15.2 overs) and Lendl Simmons for 72 caught by Moises Henriques off the bowling of Mitchell March (5 for 132 in 15.3 overs) off consecutive deliveries which meant that they had two new batsmen at the crease with the required run rate climbing up rapidly.
Fabian Allen and Andre Russell batted well to bring things back in West Indies sight.
Australia had 36 to defend in two overs, Allen was brilliant as he hit 25 off the penultimate over bowled by Riley Meredith to tilt the momentum back in West Indies favour, at the end, Meredith had the last laugh, as he had Allen caught by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade for 29 off 14 deliveries (6 for 179).
Russell could not finish things off for the West Indies as Mitchell Starc bowled one of the best overs in T20 cricket against Russell to get the Aussies across the line with 4 runs still needed.
Bowling for Australia, Man of the Match, Mitchell Marsh took 3 for 24 from his 4 overs, and Adam Zampa 2 for 20 off his 4 overs.