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Windies fight back to beat Australia in first T20I


Windies fight back to beat Australia in first T20I
West Indies pacer Obed McCoy celebrates taking one of his four wickets against Australia in the first Twenty20 International on Friday in St. Lucia. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

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Gros-Islet – Pacer Obed McCoy and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr shared seven wickets after Andre Russell hit a maiden Twenty20 International half-century and West Indies produced a superb comeback to outclass Australia by 18 runs in the first T20I on Friday in St Lucia.

McCoy grabbed 4-26 from his allotted four overs to earn the Player-of-the-Match award and Walsh snared a career-best 3-23 from his four overs, and the Nicholas Pooran-led Windies successfully defended a below par target of 146 under the lights at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.

The match was an open affair after the Australians reached 70 for three at the end of the Power Play and still appeared well poised at 105 for four at the halfway stage of their innings.

But Walsh triggered a batting collapse, McCoy wiped out the tail and the visitors were dismissed for 127 in 16 overs.

After Walsh bowled Ben McDermott for two in the 11th over, the Aussies lost six wickets for 19 in 34 balls.

McCoy formalised the result when he had Josh Hazlewood caught behind for a first-ball duck.

The result gave the Caribbean side a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, which continues Saturday at the same venue.

Put into bat, West Indies, playing without injured regular captain Kieron Pollard because of a hamstring problem, reached 145 for six from their allocation of 20 overs.

They earned their final total to a blitzkrieg of 51 off 28 balls from Russell that included three fours and five sixes.

Opener Lendl Simmons scored 27 and Shimron Hetmyer made 20 and were the only other notable contributors for the Windies, who were tottering at 66 for four after 12 overs.

Pacer Hazlewood turned the screws on the hosts early when he had opener Evin Lewis caught at mid-off for a two-ball duck and Chris Gayle caught at point for four before getting rid of Russell late in the innings to end with 3-12 in his four overs.

All-rounder Mitchell Marsh took 2-26 in his four overs and 38-year-old pacer Dan Christian, playing in his first match for the Aussies in four years, conceded 10 runs for no wicket in his two overs.

Summarised scores:

WEST INDIES 145 for six off 20 overs (Andre Russell 51, Lendl Simmons 27; Josh Hazlewood 3-12, Mitchell Marsh 2-26).

AUSTRALIA 127 off 16 overs (Mitchell Marsh 51, Matthew Wade 33; Obed McCoy 4-26, Hayden Walsh 3-23, Fabian Allen 2-24).