West Indies vs Australia: West Indies Win T20I Series

West Indies vs Australia: West Indies beat Australia by 18 runs in the first match of the five-match T20 International series at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia, thanks to a shocking Australian collapse.

West Indies vs Australia: West Indies Win T20I Series

The West Indies defeated Australia by 18 runs in the opening round of the five-match T20 International series at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia on Friday. Obed McCoy and Hayden Walsh combined for seven wickets to spark a dramatic Australian collapse. The tourists, responding to the home side's score of 145 for six, lost their last six wickets for 19 runs to be bowled for 127 off 16 overs, thanks to seamer McCoy (four for 26) and leg-spinner Walsh (three for 23). Mitchell Marsh's 51 off 31 balls, which included two sixes and five fours, looked to have swung the game in his team's favor until he was dismissed for 117 in the 13th over by Walsh.

Andre Russell's stunning 51 off 28 balls, his maiden T20I fifty, was instrumental in West Indies attaining a respectable score.

After the home side's top-order batting faltered after they were put in, Russell's power-hitting, which included five sixes and three fours, was needed to provide the innings late momentum.

West Indies were missing regular skipper Kieron Pollard, who suffered a hamstring injury in the final match of the previous T20I series against South Africa, which the Proteas won 3-2 in Grenada just six days prior.

With Australia cruising along at 108 for four in only the 11th over of their reply, it was the stand-in skipper, wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran, who effected the match-winning dismissal when Hazlewood was caught behind off McCoy to trigger celebrations among the Caribbean players that bore a hint of disbelief as they looked completely out of it.

"I thought we always had a chance if we could pick up a couple of wickets, and when everything began going for us, we were able to pull it off," McCoy remarked after being named "Man of the Match."

"I'm having a lot of fun bowling and I'm pleased I can contribute to this squad," he continued.

While McCoy was the best bowler for the West Indies in the South Africa series, Walsh was not picked for any of the five games, but he had an immediate impact when he was called into service to begin the match against Australia.

He started the slide by bowling Ben McDermott with a googly in the 11th over and then catching and bowling Marsh two overs later.

The batting effort of Australian captain Aaron Finch, who was the first wicket to go in the chase when he blasted left-arm spinner, Fabian Allen, to extra-cover, was utterly unacceptable.

"We have no excuses for what occurred out there tonight," Finch said flatly.

"In fact, as the game progressed, the pitch improved for batting. We just didn't pay attention to the task and paid the price as a result "Added he.

With the second match scheduled for Saturday at the same location, Australia will have an opportunity to make apologies in less than 24 hours.

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