In a game that swung wildly in favor of both the teams, it was the Australian team that cashed-in at crucial times even after being outplayed by the West Indies for two-thirds of the game. The Kangaroos held their nerves under immense pressure to resurgent their way back into the game. West Indies, who often leads to their downfall, kept losing wickets at crucial times and lost the momentum in the run chase. Aaron Finch led his team tremendously to script a thrilling 14-run victory at the Trent Bridge.
Having won the toss and elected to field first, the West Indies dominated the initial period with their disciplined and deceptive pace attack. Oshane Thomas and Sheldon Cottrell combined to dismiss Aaron Finch and David Warner respectively in successive overs. Misery complied for the Australians when half of the team was back in the pavilion with just 79 runs on the board. That’s when Steve Smith demonstrated his mental strength on the biggest stage of the World Cup, to play the anchor role and reconstruct their innings. He added 68 runs along with Alex Carrey, who played a sensible knock of 45 runs under the pump.
The game-changing moment of the match was probably the Smith-Coulter Nile partnership which brought them back into the game. The duo added 102 runs for the seventh wicket before Sheldon Cottrell grabbed an unbelievable catch to see the back of Steve Smith for his invaluable 73 off 103 balls. After Smith’s departure, Nathan Coulter-Nile took charge and played a knock to remember all his life. He smashed 60-ball 92 to power the Australian team to post a challenging total on the board. The Australian pacer was also declared the man of the match for his outstanding effort with the bat in the times of adversity.
West Indies, on the contrary, made a hash of this match and missed out on two vital points. Evin Lewis, who was brought in to replace Darren Bravo failed to capitalize as he sent back by Pat Cummins in the second over. Chris Gayle, who was at the receiving of some poor umpiring, joined him soon after a short stay at the crease. Two down inside five overs, Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran led the Windies revival with a good looking 68-run stand. Pooran played a false shot against Adam Zampa while Hetymer got involved in a disastrous run-out much to the West Indian despair.
After the departure of Shai Hope for his brilliant 105-ball 68, West Indies found themselves at a spot of bother. The skipper, Jason Holder looked solid in the middle for his half-century but failed to take his team over the line. Mitch Starc got both Andre Russell and Jason Holder in the same over to become the fastest bowler to 150 ODI scalps. He bowled superbly in the second spell and dismissed Jason Holder (51), Andre Russell (15) and Carlos Braithwaite (16) to destroy the Windies middle order.
The reigning champions showed the nerves of steel in front of a young West Indian team which succumbed under pressure. This victory will give much confidence to the Kangaroos, who crawled their way back to script a memorable comeback and clinch the win from the jaws of the defeat.