Windies batting collapse causes defeat
NOTTINGHAM, England (CMC):
Shai Hope and captain Jason Holder struck half-centuries, but a late batting collapse sent the Windies to a hugely disappointing 15-run defeat to Australia, squandering an ideal opportunity to notch their second straight win of the ICC World Cup here yesterday.
In pursuit of 289 at Trent Bridge in a contest marked by poor officiating, the Windies were well placed at one stage on 190 for four in the 35th over but then watched as five wickets tumbled for 66 runs as the Caribbean side paid the price for injudicious strokes late in the innings and ended on 273 for nine off their 50 overs.
Hope top-scored with a patient 68 off 105 balls that included seven fours and appeared to be steering the Windies to victory, but his demise in the 35th sparked the Windies slide, handing Australia their second straight win of the tournament.
Victory kept alive
Holder struck 51 off 57 balls with seven fours and a six, and hopes of a Windies victory were kept alive once he remained at the wicket. Mitchell Starc’s return for a final spell, however, sounded the death knell as he knocked over Carlos Brathwaite (16) and Holder in the 46th over to quickly end the Windies bid.
Left-hander Nicholas Pooran struck 40 while Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer both got 21, but the Windies lost wickets at key moments, which hurt their run chase.
Left-arm seamer Starc claimed five for 46 while fast bowler Pat Cummins supported with two for 41.
Tail-ender Nathan Coulter-Nile had earlier struck a career-best 92 and stroke-maker Steve Smith, 73, as Australia recovered from 38 for four in the eighth over to reach 288 all out off 49 overs.
Coulter-Nile, batting at number eight, struck eight fours and four sixes in a robust 60-ball knock which dug the Aussies out of trouble while Smith faced 103 balls and counted seven fours.
Brathwaite got wickets at the back end of the innings to end with three for 67 while fellow pacers Andre Russell (2-41), Sheldon Cottrell (2-56) and Oshane Thomas (2-63) finished with two wickets each.