Windies squander good start, lose to Aussies at World Cup

The West Indies squandered a good start to suffer a 15 run defeat to a spirited Australia in their ICC World Cup game at Trent Bridge on Thursday. The result gave the Australians their second win of the campaign while the Windies had their first defeat. Electing to field, the Windies fast bowlers made full use of the new ball as Australia's top-order crumbled under the Windies pressure, posting 288 all out.

The momentum however swung when Alex Carey joined Steve Smith in the middle as the two counter-punched in a 6th wicket partnership worth 68 runs. Carey's dismissal gave way to Nathan Coulter-Nile's arrival with Smith holding the Australian innings together with 73. Coulter-Nile hit 8 fours and four sixes in a career-best score of 92 as Australia posted a challenging total.

Carlos Brathwaite ended with 3-67 while Andre Russell, Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas all picked up two wickets. The West Indies found themselves in early trouble in their chase, losing Evin Lewis for just one. Chris Gayle who made a half-century against Pakistan, tried to put pressure on the Australian bowlers, finding the boundary four times.

Gayle's dismissal may be considered unlucky as the previous delivery was shown to be a no-ball. The Caribbean side would however recover with Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope adding 68 runs. The two played some elegant shots before Pooran fell 10 runs short of his maiden half-century. The attacking Shimron Hetmyer and Hope had one moment of indecision in their 50 run partnership and that was enough to see the Guyanese walking back to the pavilion.

Hope was the next to go, top scoring with 68 and when Andre Russell's aggressive game saw him being dismissed, the chase became more difficult. Skipper Jason Holder with 51, tried to combine with the lower-order, but the game was finished as a contest when he and Carlos Brathwaite went in the same over to Mitchell Starc who had 5-46.

The Windies innings eventually closed at 272-9. The Windies will next oppose South Africa on Monday while the Aussies will meet India on Sunday.



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