5th T20I (N), Gros Islet, July 16, 2021, Australia tour of West Indies
(20 ov, T:200) 183/9

West Indies won by 16 runs

Player Of The Match
79 (34)
Player Of The Series
12 wkts

Australia's confidence lifted but middle order remains in spotlight

Hayden Walsh Jr will look to cap his memorable series with more wickets

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Fabian Allen almost took the previous game away from Australia  •  AFP/Getty Images

Fabian Allen almost took the previous game away from Australia  •  AFP/Getty Images

Big Picture

The fourth match of the series was a thoroughly entertaining T20 from start to finish: plenty of thundering strokeplay, some impressive spin bowling, an astonishing late onslaught and then a classy final over as Australia clung on for a win. They will now be looking to take that confidence boost into the final game and then the ODIs which follow in Barbados next week.
In many ways, West Indies will feel they should still have won after the foundation laid by Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis. When Fabian Allen's four sixes in five balls against Riley Meredith brought it down to 11 off 8 deliveries they were favourites again. However, the fact Meredith removed Allen with his last delivery proved critical as it made Andre Russell opt to not take runs on offer in the final over. Was that the right call? It's an interesting debate.
Australia had been placed for a total beyond 200 when they were 126 for 1 in the 12th but the middle order again struggled against Hayden Walsh Jr. Dan Christian's handy innings ensured a late kick, but the various combinations used at Nos 4-6 in this series have yet to answer many questions. The Bangladesh tour is still to get final sign-off, but if that goes ahead there will be five more games for them next month.
West Indies also have another five-match series when they face Pakistan and could look to experiment in one or two slots. Oshane Thomas struggled on Wednesday - his second over costing 25 and including two no-balls - while Akeal Hosein was drafted in as another spin option. The five overs between Thomas, Hosein and Simmons cost 71 as the attack missed the experience of the rested Dwayne Bravo.

Form guide

(last five completed matches)
West Indies LWWWL
Australia WLLLL

In the spotlight

Andre Fletcher has not had a great time against Australia with scores of 9, 4 and 6. In the fourth game he slipped down the order to No. 4 in the absence of the injured Shimron Hetymer and his 6 off 14 stifled West Indies' early momentum and also appeared to impact Simmons' fluency. If Fletcher is to be a utility batter in the World Cup squad he needs to show a little more adaptability.
It had been a long time between outings for Jason Behrendorff who had not played for Australia since the 2019 World Cup. Though his performance did not stand out amid the myriad of other highlights, it was quietly a promising return. His first over inside the Powerplay cost 11 but his second, in the 12th, cost three at the time West Indies lost momentum and then the first four balls of the 17th went for just three runs. "He's been challenged to get some tricks with his white-ball cricket and he's done that," Zampa said.

Team news

Kieron Pollard, Fidel Edwards, Obed McCoy and Shimron Hetymer have all been nursing injuries at stages during the series which reduces the options available. Bravo could return after being rested which would strengthen all departments.
West Indies (possible) 1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Evin Lewis, 3 Chris Gayle, 4 Andre Fletcher, 5 Nicholas Pooran (capt & wk), 6 Andre Russell, 7 Fabian Allen, 8 Hayden Walsh Jr, 9 Akeal Hosein, 10 Oshane Thomas, 11 Sheldon Cottrell
AJ Tye, Mitchell Swepson, Wes Agar are the three players from the squad who have yet to have any match time. Tye or Agar could be an option to replace Meredith if they want to take him out of the spotlight, but equally he could continue his development in the middle. Ben McDermott and Ashton Agar have been carrying niggles. They could consider giving Josh Philippe another go in the middle order.
Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Matthew Wade (wk), 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Alex Carey, 5 Moises Henrqiues, 6 Ashton Turner, 7 Dan Christian, 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Riley Meredith, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Jason Behrendorff

Pitch and conditions

Aside from Starc's last over, where he got his yorkers in, pace off the ball was the key. Overall, though, the surfaces have been good for batting. There were some brief showers during the previous match which are an increasing chance now the rainy season has arrived.

Stats and trivia

  • The most wickets for a bowler who has played five matches in a T20I series is 13 by Ish Sodhi against Australia earlier this year. Hayden Walsh Jr is currently on 11
  • Mitchell Starc needs two wickets to become the first Australia men's bowler to reach 50 in T20Is
  • Quotes

    "Hayden Walsh has bowled really well, we probably haven't played him as well as we'd like. If we had our time again we'd probably have better game plans to him or hit his bad balls a little better. Something that we've spoken about."
    Adam Zampa

    Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

    Win Probability
    WI 100%
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    Over 20 • AUS 183/9

    West Indies won by 16 runs
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