Matthew Wade and Mitchell Starc were both dropped in the final over but still managed to force Australia to a thrilling three-wicket win over the West Indies with one ball remaining at the T20 International at Metricon Stadium.
Australia needed 11 to win from Sheldon Cottrell’s final on Wednesday when wicketkeeper batsman Wade (39 none of 29 balls) was dropped by Raymon Reifer with seven still needed.
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Kyle Mayers then failed to latch on to another chance at depth to get rid of Starc on the fourth ball before the paceman used his respite to put the hosts over the line with two off the penultimate ball.
Australia captain Aaron Finch (58 balls on 53) had pushed his way down in 4th place to give a bang to all-rounder Cameron Green in the opening innings he was so successful in on the recent T20 tour of India.
But Australia were chasing the West Indies 9-145 overall and were in deep trouble at 5-58 in the eighth over.
However, Finch found a willing ally in Wade as the duo combined for a 69-run, six-wicket stand against the brave visitors.
Australia paceman Pat Cummins said the team “bowled really well but probably wasn’t as clinical as we would have liked with the racquet.”
“I think it’s great that someone like Matty Wade got us home in 7th place, as he’s done a number of times, but ideally those kinds of chases are a little easier,” he said.
“(Wade) really took on that mantle as a finisher. He nailed this spot.
“I thought (Finch) was fantastic with that old wise man and just got the job done. Green did really well in India… and I wouldn’t be surprised if you see a couple of combinations going into the Worlds.”
Finch had said ahead of the game that he didn’t think Green would be included in the already named squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, but his own relegation in the order won’t stop those speculations.
Finch was early in the crease after passing David Warner and Mitch Marsh in Cottrell’s opening.
The Australian skipper has spoken of his desire for his team to be overly aggressive rather than cautious. He said it was “high risk, high reward”.
On this occasion, however, he took a more measured approach after the top order threw away their wickets.
Green (14 out of 10) had a short stay. However, not as short as those of Glenn Maxwell and Tim David, both of whom ducked after undisciplined side kicks.
West Indian legs spinner Yannic Cariah (1-15 of four) was outstanding on the debut.
West India paceman Alzarri Joseph (2-17 from four) said the team’s performance was encouraging.
“Everyone is in a good headspace and confident as we have prepared. We really pushed Australia forward,” he said.
Before that, West Indies opener Mayers (39 of 36) was on good form early and brought the game to the bowlers with a series of exquisite shots.
Mayers played a shot of immense class as he rocked onto the back foot and hit a Cameron Green delivery high over cover.
The West Indies were 1-47 after five overs and set for 180-plus overall before spinners Adam Zampa and Maxwell stemmed the runflow.
Australia’s fast-paced bowlers Josh Hazlewood (3-35 from four) and Cummins (2-22 from four) then turned things around before a late guest appearance from West Indian bowling all-rounder Odean Smith (27 of 17) gave them a chance.
https://7news.com.au/sport/cricket/west-indies-final-over-hell-as-under-fire-aussie-skipper-aaron-finch-stuns-in-new-t20-role-c-8456419 West Indies overwhelm hell as under-fire Aussie skipper Aaron Finch stuns in new T20 role