Incredible twist in record Cup thriller

 

Australia have defeated the West Indies by 15 runs in an incredible comeback at Trent Bridge.

Australia were struggling at 4/38 but rallied to score 288 before being bowled out.

The West Indies appeared destined for victory throughout their innings but some Mitchell Starc heroics salvaged an unlikely victory as the limped to 9/263 from their 50 overs.

The defending champions were put to the sword by the West Indies' fiery fast bowling outfit and a determined batting performance.

But record breaking performances from Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell Starc got the Aussies home, amid some controversial scenes.

 

Coulter-Nile produced a man of the match performance, writing himself into Australian World Cup cricket folklore with 92 off 60 balls to get Australia out of a precarious position at 4/38 to help the side to 288.

The Western Australian hit the highest score for anyone batting eight or lower for Australia in ODI history and for any side in a World Cup and finished just three runs off the World record score in ODIs batting eight or lower, held by England's Chris Woakes. The quick-fire innings included eight fours and four sixes.

 

Mitchell Starc then produced with the ball, taking his second World Cup five-wicket haul and his sixth overall.

His fourth wicket also made him the fastest to reach 150 wickets in ODI history with an incredible record in the 50-over game.

The match got off to the most eventful start possible with five wides off the first ball, David Warner's potential LBW saved by a no ball and a play and miss from Aaron Finch.

But it was a sign of things to come as the West Indies' promised bouncer barrage paid off.

First to go was Finch, edging a ball after getting stuck on the crease. Then came Warner, who was caught at point after driving on the up.

Usman Khawaja came and went after being pummelled by two short deliveries, while Glenn Maxwell's stay lasted just two deliveries, top edging a short ball.

Before they knew it, Australia were 4/38.

Fans were furious at the Australian disaster as the side looked as if it could be dismissed well short of a competitive score.

It was left up to former captain Steve Smith to resurrect the innings.

A 41-run partnership with Marcus Stoinis and a 68-run stand with Alex Carey steadied the ship with Smith digging in and allowing his teammates to play the aggressor.

At 6/147, Australia were still in trouble and Nathan Coulter-Nile saw his time to shine.

Nathan Coulter-Nile came up huge for Australia with the bat.
Nathan Coulter-Nile came up huge for Australia with the bat.

The bowler quickly hit his way to 50 before slamming on the accelerator. It wasn't always pretty but it was effective as Coulter-Nile hit his first half-century for his country.

Smith fell to an unbelievable catch from Sheldon Cotterill but Coulter-Nile carried on.

But with a century begging, the knock ended as he was caught on the boundary by West Indies skipper Jason Holder, ending a superb innings.

Australia's innings wrapped up quickly after Coulter-Nile fell as Australia were bowled out for 288.

Australia's bowling innings started much the same as their batting innings with five wides off the first ball.

West Indian opener Evin Lewis fell cheaply, but Chris Gayle looked set for a huge innings.

After he survived two close calls thanks to DRS reviews, Gayle started to find his rhythm but couldn't survive a third review as Australia dismissed both West Indian openers within the first five overs.

Gayle survived his first call of caught behind with the ball found to have bizarrely hit the stumps on the way through to Alex Carey rather than Gayle's bat.

The next one was an inswinging full toss from Mitch Starc which smashed into his pads. He reviewed immediately with the ball missing the stumps by a long way.

Mitchell Starc celebrates his five wicket haul and record wicket taking pace.
Mitchell Starc celebrates his five wicket haul and record wicket taking pace.

Finally, Australia had their man with Gayle removed LBW. Gayle reviewed again but the DRS found the ball was clipping leg stump and the big hitting star had to walk.

It was a slice of luck for Australia as it was revealed the ball before Starc's wicket was a no ball, which would have made the wicket ball a free hit.

West Indies first drop Shai Hope played an anchor role with 68 off 105 balls as his side appeared headed for victory.

Just as the West Indies were tightening their vice like grip on the game, a shocking mix up saw Shimron Hetmyer run out, which opened the door for Australia.

Hope creamed a ball to Pat Cummins at mid-off but the batsmen were confused and started running but didn't seem to realise how well the ball had been hit.

Cummins delivered a brilliant throw straight over the stumps allowing Glenn Maxwell to whip the bails off.

"Mix up, a terrible mix up - talk about buy a wicket," Michael Slater said in commentary.

Michael Clarke added: "No West Indies, the last thing they needed. That's exactly what the Aussies required."

Carlos Braithwaite can’t believe what just happened.
Carlos Braithwaite can’t believe what just happened.

Australia kept the game alive, maintaining attacking fields and chasing wickets.

It was a tactic which paid off with Australia completing their comeback with a run of 3/4 in 12 balls late in the innings.

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West Indies captain Jason Holder seemed shellshocked by the defeat having been in such a strong position.

"I thought we were right in the game there," Holder said post-match. "There were lots of positives that came out of this game. We were obviously disappointed with the way we lost but I still think there were lots of positives that came from it."

He pointed to a dropped catch when Coulter-Nile was on 60 as well as poor shots as the reason behind the loss.


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