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1st T20I (N), Gros Islet, July 09, 2021, Australia tour of West Indies
(16/20 ov, T:146) 127

West Indies won by 18 runs

Player Of The Match

Australia lose 6 for 19 as McCoy, Walsh give West Indies 1-0 lead

Marsh's all-round brilliance, Hazlewood's thrifty spell in vain for visitors in St Lucia

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Hayden Walsh Jr. and Fidel Edwards celebrate a wicket, West Indies vs Australia, 1st T20I, St Lucia, July 9, 2021

Hayden Walsh Jr. rallied West Indies to a remarkable victory in the series opener  •  AFP

West Indies 145 for 6 (Russell 51, Hazlewood 3-12, Marsh 2-26) beat Australia 127 (Marsh 51, Wade 33, McCoy 4-26, Walsh 3-23) by 18 runs
West Indies fought back to secure an extraordinary victory in the opening match against Australia having been behind the game for large periods. The visitors contrived to lose their last six wickets for 19 runs against Obed McCoy and Hayden Walsh Jr having needed less than five over in the second half of the chase.
McCoy, who was impressive in the recent series against South Africa, confounded Australia's lower order with his slower-ball variations while Walsh Jr marked his recalled with the key wicket of top-scorer Mitchell Marsh who looked to have put Australia on track with a maiden T20I fifty.
In the end it was another maiden T20I half-century, from Andre Russell, which finished on the winning side as his 51 off 28 balls transformed the West Indies innings after they had laboured against an inspired opening burst from Josh Hazlewood who conceded just three runs in his first three overs.
Australia surged out of the blocks in the chase with 70 on the board at the end of the powerplay and the loss of three wickets in the same period seemed a reasonable price to pay to be so far ahead of the required run rate. The decisive collapse began when Ben McDermott missed a booming drive against Walsh Jr's googly and the rest of Australia's innings did not make much sense. A small crowd of fully vaccinated supporters were left jumping for joy.
Hazlewood's powerplay perfection
There was one spot up for grabs among Australia's four specialist bowlers and it went to Hazlewood for just the 10th T20I in a career that started in 2013. He could not have put in a better display to advance his claims for a spot in the T20 World Cup squad. With his second ball he had Evin Lewis taken at mid-on and then he tied down Chris Gayle with a maiden in his second over. That pressure told when Gayle got a top edge to point in Hazlewood's third over, by the end of which he had the astonishing figures of 3-1-3-2 - including 17 dot balls - as West Indies limped along in the fielding restrictions with Lendl Simmons 19 off 23 balls in the first six overs. Hazlewood would return for the final over of the innings where he adjusted his length to end the thunderous display of Russell and, if it hadn't been for Dwayne Bravo sending the last ball for six, he could have finished with Australia's most economical four-over display.
Take a wicket, lose a review
After Simmons's difficult stay was ended by an outside edge in Marsh's first over, West Indies' problems were compounded by the run out of stand-in captain Nicholas Pooran - leading for the first time with Kieron Pollard injured - although there was a curious element about the dismissal. Mitchell Starc appeal for lbw against Shimron Hetmyer, which was turned down, but Pooran couldn't get back into his crease at the non-striker's end as Josh Philippe proved very alert to the chance. However, before the run out had been completed Aaron Finch had called for a review for the initial lbw shout so, after Pooran had been shown to be clearly out, they had to check for the lbw which was missing leg stump so Australia lost their review.
A Russell special
West Indies needed something to turn their innings around and provide a target to bowl at. Russell was given a life on 5, dropped at midwicket by Moises Henriques, and delivered with his maiden T20I half-century, a display of awesome power off 26 balls, which included five sixes over various massiveness around the ground. Having reached 6 off 9 deliveries, he started to unleash with consecutive sixes off Ashton Agar, the first requiring a replacement ball as it exited the ground, then he added back-to-back sixes against Starc in the 17th over as the left-armer missed his mark attempting for wide yorkers. Another mighty blow in the penultimate over, again off the expensive Starc, brought up the fifty.
Hectic powerplay
Fabian Allen and McCoy both struck with their first deliveries in Australia's chase - Finch driving Allen to cover and Philippe clubbing McCoy to mid-on - but boundaries flowed at the same time. Matthew Wade raced to 33 off 14 balls which included putting Fidel Edwards out of the ground and sending Russell for consecutive sixes but fell at the end of the over when he carelessly found deep point. Henriques began his innings by pulling his first two deliveries from McCoy and the job was half done for Australia by the end of the fielding restrictions. Then the wheels came off.
How did that happen?
Henriques continued the tone of Australia hitting the ball in the air to fielders when he drove to point, but Marsh worked his way to a composed half-century and with batting still to come, it should have been well in hand. Walsh Jr's first over back in the side had cost ten but he returned in the 11th to remove McDermott which exposed the lower order. He then firmly opened the door for West Indies when Marsh drove a return catch and it left Australia needing Dan Christian to guide a chase home on his recall after a four-year gap. Agar did not stay for long, McCoy grabbing a brilliant low caught and bowled, then Christian lofted Walsh Jr to long-on which meant it was over to the bowlers to try and stop the panic. They couldn't do it with McCoy claiming the last two wickets in the space of three deliveries which gives him 13 scalps in his last five matches.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
WI 100%
100%50%100%WI InningsAUS Innings

Over 16 • AUS 127/10

Mitchell Starc c Allen b McCoy 3 (8b 0x4 0x6 12m) SR: 37.5
Josh Hazlewood c †Pooran b McCoy 0 (1b 0x4 0x6 3m) SR: 0
West Indies won by 18 runs
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