T20I: Russell-Rutherford record stand hands West Indies consolation win
West Indies 220 for 6 (Russell 71, Rutherford 67*, Bartlett 2-37) beat Australia 183 for 5 (Warner 81, David 41*, Chase 2-19, Shepherd 2-31) by 37 runs
Andre Russell and Sherfane Rutherford shared a record sixth-wicket T20I partnership before spinner Roston Chase produced a magnificent spell to sink Australia as West Indies enjoyed a consolation victory at Optus Stadium.
West Indies were in big trouble at 79 for 5 after winning the toss in the third and final game, but Russell and Rutherford completely dominated the second half of the innings with a hard-hitting 139-run stand.
They slaughtered Australia’s attack and combined for 12 sixes, but West Indies’ total of 220 for 6 was under threat by a rampant David Warner, who struck 81 off 49 balls in possibly his last international match on home soil.
Australia nosedived after Warner’s dismissal as they ended the home summer on a sour note, but still recorded a 2-1 series victory.
Rutherford and Dre Russ rescue West Indies
Captain Rovman Powell decided to switch strategies and bat first after his attack had leaked huge totals in the opening two matches.
But it appeared to not make a difference with West Indies’ top-order unable to handle the extra bounce as they spiralled to 17 for 3 in the third over.
West Indies as expected did not go into their shell with Powell and Chase leading a recovery, but their dismissals before the halfway mark left the tourists in familiar woe.
A brute of a delivery from left-arm quick Spencer Johnson delivery whacked Russell on the glove with the painful blow requiring medical attention. But he continued and cracked another short Johnson delivery for six.
It got him going and also ignited Rutherford, who had started slowly before putting the foot down to reach his half-century off 33 balls. But he was overshadowed by Russell, who was in a mood as he motored to a 25-ball half-century with a six off legspinner Adam Zampa as West Indies lifted past 200.
Russell wasn’t done as he monstered an unusually sluggish Zampa for three consecutive sixes in a penultimate over of the innings that yielded 28 runs.
Russell was throwing so much force into his strokes that a slew of fielders lost sight of the ball as it continually soared mightily high in the air and into the crowd.
He finally holed out in the last over and walked off the ground to a standing ovation from the 17,018 crowd.
Bartlett stars early in T20I debut, Zampa cops flogging
With Josh Hazlewood rested, Xavier Bartlett made his T20I debut after his incredible initiation into international cricket with consecutive four-wicket hauls in the ODI series between the teams.
Bartlett opened the bowling and immediately was on the money with a back-of-a-length outswinger that beat Johnson Charles. He relished the extra bounce on the renowned pacy Optus Stadium deck and hit Charles on the helmet with a fierce short delivery.
Bartlett’s magical start to his international career continued when on the last ball of the first over he had Johnson nicking off before adding another after recalled Kyle Mayers succumbed to the sharp bounce and played onto his stumps.
But Bartlett cooled off after Chase decided to counterattack as West Indies met fire with fire.
Bartlett’s figures nosedived to finish with 2 for 37 from 4 overs, but he was spared from the punishment compared to Zampa, who in a rare off night finished with 1 for 65 in the worst bowling figures in Australia’s T20I history.
Warner smashes half-century but lacks support
Australia reshuffled their batting order with skipper Mitchell Marsh elevating a spot to open alongside Warner. But Marsh couldn’t get going and was overshadowed by Warner, who overcame a rough start when a short delivery from Alzarri Joseph banged into the grill via his shoulder.
After smashing a rapid 70 in the series opener, Warner was shackled in game two by a West Indies attack bowling a straight line. But they couldn’t maintain their discipline and Warner capitalised by swinging hard and racing to a half-century off 25 balls.
Warner seemed set to reach his second T20I century, but he became bogged down in the middle overs before holing out in the 14th over as Australia’s chase fell away.
Chase halts Australia in the middle overs
West Indies’ attack, which had struggled mightily in Hobart and Adelaide, appeared in jeopardy of being unable to defend their massive total. But Chase proved an inspired selection as he dominated the middle overs to frustrate Warner and Aaron Hardie, who batted at No.3, with deliveries that darted into them.
He removed Warner and then had Josh Inglis, who shifted from opener down to No.4, with a return catch to finish with the excellent figures of 2 for 19 from 4 overs. Chase was well supported by seamer Romario Shepherd as West Indies recorded a convincing victory. (ESPNcricinfo)