west indies

Windies Smash Australia in Perth! Russell & Chase Star

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Andre Russell‘s belligerent knock (71 off 29) and his match-defining 139-run stand with Sherfane Rutherford (67* off 40) alongside Roston Chase‘s all-round brilliance (37 off 20 and 2-19) gave West Indies a 37-run win over Australia in the final T20I in Perth on Tuesday (February 13). The result gave the visitors a consolatory victory to sign off the tour after Australia had already pocketed the series with wins in the previous two games. Russell and Rutherford produced an explosive display to take West Indies to an imposing total of 220 – the highest score by a visiting side in Australia in this format. The hosts tried to make a game of the big chase through David Warner (81 off 49) but lost too many wickets in the middle overs to eventually fall well short.

Australia start with a bang

Opting to bat, West Indies found themselves in a soup at 17/3 with Australia‘s new-ball bowlers getting the ball to talk. There was a hint of movement and the typical Perth bounce made shot-making difficult early on. Xavier Bartlett got rid of Johnson Charles and Kyle Mayers while Jason Behrendorff took the big fish, Nicholas Pooran.

Chase-Powell launch a mini counterattack

West Indies refused to bow down despite the early wickets. Skipper Rovman Powell joined Chase as the duo added a quickfire 55 runs off just 30 balls to give some momentum to the innings. Their efforts showed that there were runs to be made on this Perth surface if batters were willing to get themselves in. The counterpunch reversed the pressure back on Australia‘s bowlers.

Zampa, Hardie intervene

The Aussies were desperate for the partnership to be broken and their ace spinner Adam Zampa did just that. He cleaned up Chase while Aaron Hardie then got Powell to nick one through to the ‘keeper. The two set batters fell in the space of six deliveries and at 79/5, Australia was back to bossing the contest.

Rutherford and Dre Russ stage a miracle

The visitors continued their aggressive approach with the bat. Rutherford and Russell kept the momentum going but were also careful in their shot selection. They selectively took on their matchups and kept the scoreboard racing. It’s in the last six overs that carnage occurred. As many as 84 runs came off the final 36 deliveries including a 28-run over from Zampa. From a point where 170 looked like a good score, West Indies zoomed past 200 and touched the 220-run mark. Russell was at his brutal best, smashing the ball to all parts while Rutherford was more about finesse in his strokes. The left-hander, though, wasn’t shy of unleashing his power during the odd stroke.

Warner leads Australia’s reply

The home side needed a strong powerplay and a base to get close to the massive target. Warner led the charge, being the aggressor in the 68-run opening stand with skipper Mitchell Marsh. The left-hander also dominated the 46-run stand that followed with Aaron Hardie. What West Indies did well was to ensure that Warner‘s partners weren’t able to get going at his rate of scoring. Marsh and Hardie were both unable to get going at their home ground, leaving Warner to do the heavy lifting.

Chase kills the contest

With Warner at the crease, Australia was in with a chance. The equation read 108 runs needed off 48 balls – a required rate of 13.5 runs-per-over. It might sound a bit too many but Perth has historically been a ground where a truckload of runs have come at the back end of the innings. West Indies had to get Warner and Chase obliged with his off-breaks, getting the opener to hole out to deep mid-wicket. Shortly thereafter, he also had Josh Inglis to a sharp return catch and the Australian innings hit a roadblock.

The required rate shot up drastically and with Glenn Maxwell struggling, the game was all but done. Tim David played a breezy cameo at the end but it only served to limit the damage.

Brief scores: West Indies 220/6 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 71, Sherfane Rutherford 67*; Xavier Bartlett 2-37) beat Australia 183/5 in 20 overs (David Warner 81, Tim David 41*; Roston Chase 2-19) by 37 runs

Read more information here: Cricinfo & Cricbuzz

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