Home Sports Cricket World Cup 2019: Defending champions record 15-run win

World Cup 2019: Defending champions record 15-run win

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Nottingham: Defending champions Australia held their nerve to see off a spirited challenge from West Indies and clinch a 15-run win at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

The Aussies, after suffering a top-order collapse which was shored up by Steve Smith and Nathan Coulter-Nile, set a target of 289.

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West Indies looked like they were cruising to the target for most of the innings but fell short when it mattered thanks largely to a bizarre run out of Shimron Hetmyer, ending their chase at 273 for nine.

Mitchell Starc was the architect of their destruction with a figure of 5/46.

Earlier, Nathan Coulter-Nile hit 92, the highest score by a number eight batsman in World Cup history, as champions Australia staged a remarkable rally against the West Indies. Australia were in dire straits at 38 for four following an aggressive start by the West Indies’ quicks.

But they finished on 288 all out after former captain Steve Smith (73), who put on 102 for the seventh wicket with Coulter-Nile, began the repair job.

Oshane Thomas struck first when Australia captain Aaron Finch (six) was caught behind off a lifting delivery.

David Warner (three) was then caught at backward point off Sheldon Cottrell that saw the left-arm quick — still a member of the Jamaica Defence Force — celebrate with his trademark salute.

Australia were now 21 for two whenSmith walked in.

Usman Khawaja was twice hit on the body on Thursday before he edged an edge off Andre Russell was brilliantly caught one-handed by diving wicket-keeper Shai Hope.

Australia’s 36 for three was quickly transformed into 38 for four when Glenn Maxwell was out for a duck.

Left-hander Alex Carey (45) gave Smith some sound support in a stand of 68 before he was caught behind off Russell.

Smith had a lucky break, on 26 and his patient innings ended when he flicked Thomas high towards deep backward square only for Cottrell, skirting the boundary, to grab the ball one-handed, throw it back into the field of play as he stepped over the rope to complete a sensational catch

But Coulter-Nile cashed in as he surpassed his previous international best of 34.

His blistering assault off 60 balls featuring eight fours and four sixes.

Rohit Kumar
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