Australia defeated West Indies by 15 runs in a nail-biter on Thursday at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham. Australia bowling all-rounder Nathan Coulter-Nile was adjudged the Player of the Match for scoring 92 runs off 60 balls and leading to an incredible Aussie comeback after their team looked down and out in this World Cup contest.
Winning the toss on a high-scoring track, West Indies skipper Jason Holder invited Australia to bat first. The Australian top-order could not counter a well-lined pace attack of Windies and buckled under pressure. Sheldon Cottrell (2/56), Oshane Thomas (2/63) and Andre Russell (2/41) never really let the batsmen settle and at one stage, the Aussies were five down for 79. But a 68-run partnership for the 6th wicket and 102-run stand for the 7th drew the Aussies back in the game.
Nathan Coulter-Nile’s 92 runs off 60 balls was his highest individual score as he top scored for his team in the crucial World Cup contest. Former captain Steven Smith also contributed handsomely with a well-measured 73.
To break down the Australian tail, Carlos Brathwaite, the man on duty, scalped three wickets. After putting a fighting score on the board, Australia gave their level best on the ground. This led the Caribbean succumb to a tight Australian pace attack and hence lose the match by 15 runs.
Wickets fell at regular intervals for the Windies and no partnership could actually take the match away from the Aussies. Though a gritty 68 from Shai Hope and 40 from Nicholas Pooran kept the Carribeans interested in the game, the Aussies inched in tense situations.
Paceman Mitchell Starc was the man for Australia to send half of the Windies side back to hut. Pat Cummins, too, bowled beautifully and scalped two wickets.
Australia will meet India on 9th while West Indies will take on South Africa on 10th in their World Cup campaigns ahead.