Dropped catches prove costly as West Indies suffer three-wicket loss to Australia

Australia 146 for 7 (Finch 58, Wade 39*) beat West Indies 145 for 9 (Mayers 39, Hazlewood 3-35) by three wickets

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West Indies lost their opening T20 International against Australia in Queensland on Wednesday by three wickets with a ball to spare to go 0-1 down in the two-match series.

West Indies have only themselves to blame, dropping two catches in the final over bowled by Sheldon Cottrell and that proved costly in the end.

Chasing 146 for victory, Australia owed their victory to Aaron Finch (58) and Matthew Wade (39*) whose sixth-wicket partnership turned the match in favour of the hosts who had lost half their wickets early.

The pair came together with Australia struggling after Sheldon Cottell’s two wickets and one each from Yannic Cariah, Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph had reduced the hosts were 58-5 after eight overs.

They eventually repelled the West Indies attack with a 69-run partnership that for a while took the match away from the tourists. The match swung significantly in Australia’s favour when Sheldon Cottrell, who had earlier removed David Warner and Mitchell Marsh in his first over, leaked 18 runs in his third over, the 12th of the Australian innings.

Bowling his final over, Joseph broke the stand when he dismissed Finch for 58 with the score at 127 with Australia needing just 19 from 17 balls.

The Antiguan conceded only four runs from that over to finish with the impressive figures of 2-17.

Odean Smith bowled Cummins for four to leave Australia needing 11 from the final over.

Cottrell gave up a four to Wade off the first ball setting the stage for Australia to achieve the target but with a lot of help from the West Indies.

Wade escaped the second ball when Reifer dropped him in the deep and square of the wicket which resulted in Australia getting two runs.

Kyle Mayers dropped Mitchell Starc in the final over•Oct 04, 2022•Getty Images

The hosts needed four runs from three balls when Mayers dropped Starc from Cottrell’s fourth and Australia took two more runs.

Starc got two from the Cottrell’s fifth to get Australia over the line with a ball to spare.

Cottrell finished with 2-49 while Smith bowled well to end with 1-19.

Earlier, Kyle Mayers scored 39 at the top of the order and Odean Smith 27 at the end as the West Indies posted 145-9 from their 20 overs. Brandon King (13) and Raymon Reifer (19) each got starts but the West Indies lost wickets regularly and were unable to get any momentum during their innings.

Josh Hazelwood was the best of the Australian bowlers with 3-35. Pat Cummins 2-22 and Mitchell Starc 2-40 were solid in support. (SportsMax) 

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