West Indies beat Australia by 18
GROS ISLET, St. Lucia (AP) – The West Indies used a sensational late hitting collapse by Australia to secure an 18-point victory on Friday in the series opener Twenty20 international cricket tournament.
The home side scored 145-6 after being sent to bat, with No.6 batsman Andre Russell scoring 51 points on 28 balls and opener Lendl Simmons adding 27.
Australia crossed in response at 70-3 before losing six wickets for 19 races and being fired for 127 in 16 overs. Obed McCoy won 4-26 and Hayden Walsh 3-23 for the West Indies.
Mitch Marsh had the best score with 51 points for Australia and won two wickets. Josh Hazlewood was the choice of the Australian bowlers with 3-12.
Opener Matthew Wade gave Australia a good start with 33 points on 14 balls, but that was wasted after the late collapse.
Players from both teams knelt to support the global Black Lives Matter movement just before the game’s first delivery by fast pitcher Mitchell Starc at Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium.
“The Australian men’s cricket team stands with the West Indies cricket team in condemning racial injustice and discrimination, both in Australia and around the world,” Cricket Australia said in a statement. “We kneel alongside our Caribbean friends to recognize and show our support for all those who have been the victims of racial injustice and / or discrimination, past and present.”
West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard was unable to play due to injury, ceding the captain’s post to Nicholas Pooran for the first time.
McCoy was named man of the match.
“I worked really hard. . . it was just about execution and sticking to the team plan, ”said McCoy. “Normally on this surface the ball has a good rebound and a good carry, but I was just trying to change my pace as much as possible. We were confident and knew we had the bowling alley to back it up.
Australia captain Aaron Finch was brutally honest in his assessment of his roster’s late surrender.
“Anytime you lose six for 19, you’re going to have a hard time winning a T20 game,” Finch said. “So we just needed someone to take care of it and go through with it.
“After the position that Marsh and Wade put us in, a little bit of game intelligence would have got us over the line, but (we) kind of freaked out a bit. There are no excuses for our batting display there. You have to dust yourself off and come back with the same attitude but just perform a little better under pressure.
The second game of the five-game T20 series is scheduled for Saturday at the same Gros Islet stadium.
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