Australia started their tour of West Indies with a hat-trick of defeats in the ongoing five-match T20I. The tourists surrendered the first three matches without putting up much fight and gifted West Indies an unassailable lead of 3-0.
The fourth T20 International on Thursday was also heading towards a similar fate but Mitchell Starc’s brilliance in the last over steered them towards a memorable victory.
The first innings saw Australia posting 189 runs on the scoreboard, courtesy of Mitchell Marsh. Marsh was the wrecker-in-chief for the visitors as he played a sublime knock of 75 runs off 44 deliveries.
Chasing 190, West Indies got off to a blistering start as the opening batsman Lendl Simmons smashed 72 runs.
In the end, the equation boiled down to the Caribbeans needing 11 off the last six deliveries with Andre Russell and Hayden Walsh at the crease.
The hosts were on the verge of pulling off another spectacular victory but Starc held his nerves. The experienced seamer reminded the cricket fraternity of his prowess as he bowled five dot balls to Russell, one of the best finishers and power-hitters of the modern times.
Starc started the final over with a yorker on Russell’s boots that he managed to flick towards the mid-wicket but fell down on his chest. The second ball was a fuller length away towards deep-midwicket but Russell didn’t take a single.
Starc followed it up with another full-toss on the thigh. On the third ball, Russell had another opportunity to take a single but the allrounder backed himself to smash 11 runs off three deliveries.
On the fourth ball, Starc surprised Russell by bowling a short delivery that darted into the pads and went towards the short third man. With 11 needed off the last two balls, victory seemed far away for the hosts and meanwhile, Starc bowled another full-toss which was again a dot ball.
Bowling the last delivery, all the Australian speedster was required to was bowl a legal delivery for a win. The last delivery finally saw Russell connect as he sent the ball into the stands for a six.
Australia secured a thrilling four-run win.