Australia vs West Indies, 1st T20I, Top Performances: Josh Hazlewood's 3-35, Pat Cummins 2-22, Aaron Finch's 58 and Alzarri Joseph's 2-16 are top performances. Australia beat West Indies by three wickets, lead series 1-0.
Brief Scores: West Indies 145/9 (Mayers 39, Smith 27, Hazlewood 3/35, Cummins 2/22) lost to Australia 146/7 (Finch 58, Wade 39*, Joseph 2/17, Cariah 1/15) by 3 wickets
Player of the Match: Aaron Finch – 58 (53)
The first game of the two-match T20I series between Australia and West Indies was played on Wednesday, October 5, at Carrara Oval in Queensland. While Australia entered this series after a 1-2 loss to India but things might change for Australia this time as this is the final dress rehearsal before ICC World T20 2022 and they are looking forward to playing with their final combination.
Despite the absence of a few key players, Australia emerged from the series against India with numerous positives. Moreover, Australia’s batters will look to replicate their performance from the previous matches in this series.
Talking about the first T20I against West Indies, initially, one thought it was going to be a low-scoring match but eventually, somehow West Indies managed to score 145 runs in their 20 overs thanks to Odean Smith’s quickfire 27 off just 17 deliveries.
In a frenetic final over, Australia needed 11 runs off the final over to be bowled by Sheldon Cottrell. Matthew Wade swung the first ball for four, but West Indies had a chance when Raymon Reifer dropped him at deep cover on the very next delivery. Mitchell Starc was also dropped two deliveries later before sprinting back for the winning runs off the penultimate delivery and nearly colliding with wicketkeeper Johnson Charles.
However, Australia managed to chase down the target in 19.5 overs with 3 wickets in hand, registering a hard-fought win. Aaron Finch (58) and Matthew Wade (39) were the stars of the show for Australia in the second innings.
Being a low-scoring match, there were quite a few useful performances from both sides and here we will discuss some of those.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the 1st T20I between West Indies and Australia.
Josh Hazelwood (3-35) and Pat Cummins (2-22) dismantle WI’s batting order
Australia’s pace duo has been great since last year’s world cup and has not looked back since then. While Josh Hazlewood’s fierce bowling got hold of the West Indies top order, Pat Cummins got out well-settled Kyle Mayers and Jason Holder.
Pat Cummins, continuing his consistent bowling performances from the recently concluded series against India, is nowadays seen bowling a quite effective slower one in the powerplays that also troubled India opener Rohit Sharma.
Hazlewood finished with figures of 4-0-35-3 with an economy of 8.75, while Cummins ended with 4-0-22-2 giving just 5.50 runs every over, not allowing the West Indies batters any kind of freedom to score runs quickly.
Aaron Finch (58 off 53) anchors chase for Australia
Australia skipper Aaron Finch pulled his side from a difficult position in their chase against West Indies, finishing with 58 from 53 balls in the first T20I. Aaron Finch coming into bat at number 4 making way for the in-form Cameron Green and experienced Steven Smith. Despite being pushed to number 4 in the line-up, he didn’t fail to perform in a tough situation.
Finch, during his 58-run innings, hit 6 boundaries; he provides Australia a great balance batting in the middle order, with Cameron Green overpowering the opposition bowlers in the first powerplay and replacing Steven Smith batting at number 4 who can rotate the strike and command the innings.
Alzarri Joseph’s economical spell gives WI ray of hope
The pick of the West Indies bowlers definitely had to be Alzarri Joseph. With his capability to bowl quick he will always be a pain for the batters. On Wednesday against the mighty Australians, Alzarri once agained proved how dangerous he can be with his extra bounce getting Cameron Green (14). Later, coming to bowl with the old ball, the West Indies fast bowler got Aaron Finch (53) who threatened to take the game away from West Indies single-handedly.
Alzarri Joseph finished with figures of 4-0-17-2, being the most stingy West Indies bowler with an economy of 4.25. With age on his side, Alzarri has already announced himself on the big stage and he has shown tremendous promise to come good in the upcoming world cup.
A special mention must be made of 30-year-old leg-break bowler Yannic Cariah who made an impact with his economical spell of 4-0-15-1.
The visitors will now take on hosts Australia in the second and final T20I of the two-match series at the Gabba in Brisbane on October 7.