Australian skipper Aaron Finch has bemoaned his side’s lack of “game smarts”, which saw them lose to the West Indies by 18 runs in the first T20I in St.Lucia. Finch acknowledged that the Aussies “sort of panicked” during the chase despite scoring 108-4 in 10.2 overs and needing another 38 runs to win off 58 deliveries.
However, West Indies staged a remarkable comeback, picking up the last six Australian wickets for just 21 runs in just 5.5 overs to secure a memorable win. The hosts were also without their regular captain Kieron Pollard, with Nicholas Pooran leading the Windies to a 18-run victory.
After the game, Aaron Finch was visibly upset because of his side’s batting display, stating that they produced an inexcusable performance while heading towards what looked like an easy win. As quoted by ESPNCricinfo, the Australian captain said:
“We just needed somebody to take it upon themselves and get right through to the end. After the position that [Marsh] and Wade got us into, just a bit of game smarts would have got us over the line there but sort of panicked a little bit. We’ve been working on trying to be a little more aggressive in the middle overs but maybe just need to rein it in today and have some more smarts. I thought the wicket played a little better batting second. There’s no excuses for our batting display there.”
With a short turnaround between the two games, the Australians will hope to get the defeat out of their system and bounce back in the second T20I, which will be played tomorrow.
“First game as captain, wasn’t expecting this” – Nicholas Pooran after win over Australia
With Kieron Pollard nursing a hamstring injury, Nicholas Pooran got a chance to lead West Indies for the first time.
The 25-year-old stated that he asked his teammates for ‘energy’ after they had managed just 145-6 in their 20 overs. Pooran said:
“What a game! First game as captain, wasn’t expecting this. We asked the guys for energy and that’s what they brought. I can’t give the bowlers enough credit. They came out firing the Australians and we knew we needed wickets to win the game. We asked Hayden to keep attacking those stumps, keep asking questions, and Obed McCoy came and won the game for us.”
West Indies, too, found themselves in trouble with the bat as they scored below six runs per over at one stage, with their score being just 65-4 after 11.5 overs. However, a rescue act from Andre Russell (51 off 28 balls) got them to a competitive total of 145. In the end, it proved too much for Australia.