West Indies beats Australia by 18 runs in first T20 International in Saint Lucia

Read more at www.abc.net.au

Australia has let the first T20 international against West Indies slip away, with a late-innings collapse seeing them fall 19 runs short of their target in Saint Lucia.

The West Indies scored 6-145 off their 20 overs, before the tourists were dismissed for 127.  

Andre Russell top-scored for the home side with 51 off 28 balls including five sixes.

But a brilliant spell from Josh Hazlewood saw Australia take control — his figures of four overs, 3-12 included a six off his final delivery. He knocked over opener Evin Lewis for a duck, then got rid of dangerman Chris Gayle (4) and later on stopped Russell’s charge.

Josh Philippe produced a great mid-innings runout of skipper Nicholas Pooran for 17, and Australia would have fancied its chances of chasing down 146 for victory.

The tourists were on their way, with 33 from opener Matthew Wade and a solid innings from Mitchell Marsh seeing Australia at 4-105 after 10 overs.

From there, however, it all went wrong. 

Ben McDermott (2) tried to cover drive a googly from legspinner Hayden Walsh Jr and had his middle stump knocked over with the score on 108.

Marsh made his maiden T20I 50 in the 12th over, but soon fell for 51 when he lobbed a return catch to Walsh Jr.  

Obed McCoy was cramping the Australian scoring with a series of slower balls, and one of them took the wicket of Ashton Agar (1), when McCoy kept going with his follow-through and dived forward to take a great caught and bowled.

Australia’s chances then largely stood with the veteran Dan Christian (10), but he was caught near the boundary off Walsh Jr.

McCoy then wrapped things up, dismissing Mitchell Starc (3) and Josh Hazlewood (0) — McCoy took 4-26 and Walsh Jr had 3-23 as the West Indies clinched the match with four full overs remaining.

Australians take a knee pre-game

Before the game, the Australians — both players and support staff — joined West Indies in taking a knee to condemn racial injustice and discrimination.

It is the first time a senior Australian national cricket team has taken the step.  

The Australian team explained the decision in a short statement.

“The Australian men’s cricket team stands with the West Indies cricket team in condemning racial injustice and discrimination, both at home in Australia, and throughout the world,” the statement read.

“As a team, we’ll continue to educate ourselves, provide support where possible, and create awareness for those who are victims of racial injustice, and/or discrimination in any form.

Read more at www.abc.net.au

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