West Indies have managed to seal the fate of their five-match T20I series against Australia, taking a 3-0 lead. In the third game, the hosts won by six wickets with 31 balls to spare while chasing 142 runs. For the Aussies, the last two matches of the series are nothing, but mere dead rubbers.
After electing to bat, the visitors got off to a steady start as they scored 45 runs in the powerplay for the loss of Matthew Wade’s wicket. Mitchell Marsh, who scored fifties in the first two games, couldn’t touch double digits. Aaron Finch strained for a bit as his 30-run knock came under a run-a-ball.
Alex Carey, Moises Henriques, and Ashton Turner made starts, but none could deliver the killer blows. The Caribbean specialist spinners- Fabian Allen and Hayden Walsh Jr- were hard to get away. The duo picked three wickets for 44 runs at 5.50. The Aussies, in the end, got up to 141 in 20 overs.
The hosts didn’t have the best of starts in the run-chase as Mitchell Starc got rid of Andre Fletcher in the very first over. Lendl Simmons also promised, having hit three fours, but he fell prey to Riley Meredith. However, Chris Gayle didn’t allow Australia to continue making a comeback into the game.
Gayle notched his first T20I half-century since 2016 off a mere 33 balls. He was severe on Adam Zampa and went on to score a 38-ball 67 with four fours and seven sixes. Nicholas Pooran also chipped in with an unbeaten 27-ball 32 and helped the West Indies get over the line with ease.
Pooran, who won his third T20I as skipper in a row, was delighted and termed Gayle ‘the greatest T20 batsman’. Gayle also went on to notch 14,000 runs in the T20 format. Aussie skipper Finch, on the other hand, was dejected after his team’s top-order failed to deliver yet another time.
“It was a top game. We kept asking for improvement. Today we executed our plans both with bat and ball. He (Gayle) is the greatest T20 batsman to play this game, really pleased for him. I didn’t dream (of starting captaincy with three straight wins) but this is a lovely bunch of guys,” Pooran said after the match.
“We haven’t had our top order batting deep, losing too many wickets early and exposing our middle order. Credit to the West Indies, they bowled the right lengths and pace, didn’t let us score freely.