Charge down the wicket with cricket tips for the fifth and final T20I clash between West Indies and Australia in the Caribbean.
09:30 (AEST), Sat 17th @ Beausejour Stadium, Saint Lucia
History: Played 15: West Indies 9 V Australia 6
Last meeting: July 15, 2021: Australia d West Indies by 4 runs at Beausejour Stadium
Final Thoughts: The series is gone but Australia are on the board and looking to salvage some more pride with a Game 5 victory.
The visitors grabbed a much-need victory in the fourth clash on Thursday – after losing the first three encounters heavily.
The Windies carved out a remarkable 18-run victory in Game 1. The home side made a modest 6/145 from their 20 overs, recovering from an ordinary start that had them at 3/35 in the eighth over. Coming in at number six, Andre Russell rescued the innings with 51 off just 28 deliveries. Australia’s run-chase appeared well in hand. But from 4/108 in the 11th over, they collapsed to 127 all out just 28 balls later. Man-of-the-match Obed McCoy (4/26) and Hayden Walsh Jr (3/23) tore through the Australian middle- and lower-order. Josh Hazlewood (3/12) and Mitch Marsh (51 off 31 and 2/26) provided the positives for the tourists.
West Indies powered to a 56-run win in Game 2. Lendl Simmons (30 off 21) started brightly, before man-of-the-match Shiron Hetmyer (61 off 36) and Dwayne Bravo (47* off 34) put on a century stand. A late cameo from Russell (24 off 8) lifted the hosts to 4/196. Mitchell Starc (0/49) copped a pasting. Marsh (54 off 42) again kept Australia’s chase alive after they slumped to 2/19. But none of his teammates managed more than 19 or hit more than one boundary. They were bowled out for 140 in the 20th over. Walsh was the pick of the bowlers with 3/29.
Things didn’t get any better for the Aussies in the third game. Matt Wade (23 off 16) and Aaron Finch (30 off 31) started promisingly but couldn’t go on with the job. Moises Henriques (33 off 29) and Ashton Turner (24 off 22) produced a handy partnership but Australia could only muster 6/141. Walsh (2/18) was outstanding again. The Windies cruised to a six-wicket win 31 balls to spare. Chris Gayle (67 off 38) smashed seven sixes, while Nicholas Pooran (32* off 27) played a nice support role. Riley Meredith took three wickets but went for over 12 an over. Starc’s (1/15) economical return to form was a faint silver lining of another heavy loss.
Australia finally clicked in Game 4 – though their breakthrough victory wasn’t without a few nervous moments. They powered to 6/189 on the back of a 124-run stand between Finch (53 off 37) and the in-form Marsh (75 off 44). Dan Christian (22* off 14) also produced a nice late cameo. Lendl Simmons (72 off 48) and Evin Lewis (31 off 14) got the Windies’ chase off to a flyer but it looked a forlorn hope as they slumped to 5/132 in the 16th over. Fabian Allen (29 off 14) put them within reach of a remarkable comeback as Riley Meredith gave up 25 runs in the second-last over, but five dot balls from Starc in the final over got Australia home by four runs. Zampa (2/20) and man-of-the-match Marsh (3/24) had earlier bowled superbly.
Australia have come in to $1.95 to win the fifth T20I, after starting as $2.10 outsiders in Game 4. With Finch and Starc regaining some form and Marsh on fire, there’s plenty of value on offer – especially with the rubber already wrapped up.