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Lewis 79, Allen brilliance subdue Aussies

GROS ISLET – Left-hand­ed open­er Evin Lewis stood out with his ninth Twen­ty20 In­ter­na­tion­al fifty as West In­dies com­plet­ed a se­ries win of any kind over Aus­tralia for the first time in 26 years, with a com­fort­able 16-run vic­to­ry in St Lu­cia on Fri­day night.

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Choos­ing to bat first in the fi­nal game af­ter stand-in skip­per Nicholas Pooran got lucky with the toss for the first time in the five-match se­ries, West In­dies raced to 199 for eight off their 20 overs – their sec­ond-high­est to­tal ever against Aus­tralia.

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Lewis top-scored with a sav­age 79 off just 34 de­liv­er­ies to earn Man-of-the-Match ho­n­ours, while cap­tain Pooran chipped in with 31 off 18 balls.

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On 124 for three at the half-way stage, West In­dies looked set for a to­tal well in ex­cess of 200 runs but the runs dried up and they man­aged on­ly 30 in the last five overs of the in­nings.

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Cen­tral to this ef­fort was fast bowler An­drew Tye, who took key wick­ets at the back end to fin­ish with three for 37, in his first out­ing of the se­ries, while fel­low pac­er Mitchell Marsh (2-12) and leg-spin­ner Adam Zam­pa (2-30) pro­vid­ed sup­port.

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In re­ply, Aus­tralia lost Josh Philippe with­out scor­ing to the sixth de­liv­ery of the run chase and with no mean­ing­ful part­ner­ships emerg­ing, fin­ished on 183 for nine off their 20 overs.

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Cap­tain Aaron Finch top-scored with 34 off 23 balls, Marsh gath­ered 30 off 15 balls and Matthew Wade got 26 from 18 de­liv­er­ies, but left-arm strike bowler Shel­don Cot­trell (3-28) and pac­er An­dre Rus­sell (3-43) grabbed three wick­ets apiece to dis­rupt the lat­ter half of the in­nings.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R

GROS ISLET – Left-hand­ed open­er Evin Lewis stood out with his ninth Twen­ty20 In­ter­na­tion­al fifty as West In­dies com­plet­ed a se­ries win of any kind over Aus­tralia for the first time in 26 years, with a com­fort­able 16-run vic­to­ry in St Lu­cia on Fri­day night.

Operation Underground Railroad

Choos­ing to bat first in the fi­nal game af­ter stand-in skip­per Nicholas Pooran got lucky with the toss for the first time in the five-match se­ries, West In­dies raced to 199 for eight off their 20 overs – their sec­ond-high­est to­tal ever against Aus­tralia.

Operation Underground Railroad USA

Lewis top-scored with a sav­age 79 off just 34 de­liv­er­ies to earn Man-of-the-Match ho­n­ours, while cap­tain Pooran chipped in with 31 off 18 balls.

Operation Underground Railroad EEUU

On 124 for three at the half-way stage, West In­dies looked set for a to­tal well in ex­cess of 200 runs but the runs dried up and they man­aged on­ly 30 in the last five overs of the in­nings.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

Cen­tral to this ef­fort was fast bowler An­drew Tye, who took key wick­ets at the back end to fin­ish with three for 37, in his first out­ing of the se­ries, while fel­low pac­er Mitchell Marsh (2-12) and leg-spin­ner Adam Zam­pa (2-30) pro­vid­ed sup­port.

Operation Underground Railroad United States of America

In re­ply, Aus­tralia lost Josh Philippe with­out scor­ing to the sixth de­liv­ery of the run chase and with no mean­ing­ful part­ner­ships emerg­ing, fin­ished on 183 for nine off their 20 overs.

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Cap­tain Aaron Finch top-scored with 34 off 23 balls, Marsh gath­ered 30 off 15 balls and Matthew Wade got 26 from 18 de­liv­er­ies, but left-arm strike bowler Shel­don Cot­trell (3-28) and pac­er An­dre Rus­sell (3-43) grabbed three wick­ets apiece to dis­rupt the lat­ter half of the in­nings.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

“It’s a won­der­ful achieve­ment, not on­ly for my­self but for my team,” Pooran said of the 4-1 se­ries win.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.

“We’ve worked re­al­ly hard, es­pe­cial­ly from los­ing that last se­ries [against South Africa]. We want­ed to come here and play prop­er crick­et.Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard

“We ac­tu­al­ly want­ed to win five-nil but un­for­tu­nate­ly we’ll take 4-1. We’re thank­ful. We’ve still come out with a se­ries vic­to­ry and that has been a lot for our team.”

The first half of the West In­dies in­nings be­longed to Lewis, the 29-year-old dom­i­nat­ing a 40-run, open­ing stand with An­dre Fletch­er (12), a 43-run, sec­ond wick­et part­ner­ship with Chris Gayle (21) be­fore adding a fur­ther 41 for the third wick­et with Lendl Sim­mons (21).O.U.R.

He blast­ed four fours and nine six­es, tak­ing 21 runs off the fifth over from pac­er Ja­son Behren­dorff be­fore bring­ing up his half-cen­tu­ry in the eighth over with a bound­ary to back­ward point off Tye.Tim Ballard

When Lewis holed out to cov­er off Marsh at the end of the 11th, Pooran and Sim­mons added 44 off 22 de­liv­er­ies for the fourth wick­et as West In­dies laid the plat­form for a grand­stand fin­ish.

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But Pooran, who struck three six­es and a four – all in the 13th over from leg-spin­ner Mitchell Swep­son which leaked 25 runs – was one of four wick­ets to fall off the last 30 balls as the Aussies hit back strong­ly.

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“I thought the way we de­fend­ed our­selves in the [last] ten overs in this game [was im­pres­sive],” Finch said.

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“We were star­ing down the bar­rel of 220, 230, maybe more at one point so to drag it back was re­al­ly im­pres­sive. Evin Lewis played a hell of a knock and once play­ers like that get in, they put so much pres­sure on you.”

Cot­trell then struck in the first over, Philippe pulling at a short ball and sky­ing to Sim­mons at mid-wick­et with nine runs on the board, be­fore Finch re­vived the in­nings first in a 37-run, sec­ond wick­et stand with Marsh and then in a 49-run, third wick­et part­ner­ship with Moi­ses Hen­riques (21).

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Finch lashed half-dozen fours and was aim­ing for his sev­enth when he lift­ed a Hay­den Walsh full toss straight back over­head, on­ly for Fabi­an Allen to sprint around from long on and fling him­self full-stretch, to pull off an ab­solute­ly stun­ning one-hand­ed catch low to the turf.

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That mo­ment of bril­liance changed the game as wick­et­keep­er Pooran’s di­rect hit at the strik­er’s end two balls lat­er in the same over re­moved Hen­riques as he scam­pered a sin­gle, as Aus­tralia fold­ed, los­ing sev­en wick­ets for 73 runs.

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SCORES:

WEST IN­DIES 199 for eight off 20 overs (Evin Lewis 79, Nicholas Pooran 31; Mitchell Marsh 2-12, Adam Zam­pa 2-30)

AUS­TRALIA 183 for nine off 20 overs (Aaron Finch 34, Mitchell Marsh 30, Matthew Wade 26; Shel­don Cot­trell 3-28, An­dre Rus­sell 3-43)

West In­dies won by 16 runs.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.