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Opener Lewis leads West Indies to 4th T20 win vs Australia

July 17, 2021 GMT

GROS ISLET, St Lucia (AP) — West Indies stand-in captain Nicholas Pooran won his first toss of the series and decided to bat against Australia in the final Twenty20 match on Friday. Then opener Evin Lewis took over.

Player-of-the match Lewis scored 79 runs off 34 balls, including 9 sixes, to put the Caribbean side well on its way to its fourth win in the five-match series. Despite a late collapse, the West Indies scored its highest total of the series — 199 for eight.

The West Indies bowlers, backed up by some outstanding fielding, restricted Australia to 183-9 to clinch a 16-run win.

Australia was looking strong in reply until they lost two wickets for five runs, including a spectacular one-handed diving catch at long-on by Fabian Allen to remove captain Aaron Finch for 34.

Andre Russell and Sheldon Cottrell took three wickets each for the West Indies.

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Pooran added 31 to Lewis’ dominant batting display and the West Indies were at 168-4 when they lost 4-25 before tailender Hayden Walsh Jr. hit a six to end the home side’s innings. Andrew Tye made his first appearance of the tour and led the Australian bowlers with 3-37, while Adam Zampa and Mitch Marsh added two wickets each.

“When you score runs against these teams you feel very good,” Lewis said. “It’s good for us, we have a lot of confidence going into Pakistan but want to keep playing smart cricket.”

The West Indies open a home series of five T20s against Pakistan on July 28, followed by two tests beginning Aug. 13.

“It was a wonderful achievement, not just myself but also the team,” Pooran said of the dominating series win. “We wanted to come here and play proper cricket. I can’t single out anyone, there are so many leaders.”

Finch said his bowlers defended well in the last 10 overs of the West Indies innings, but “we just haven’t backed it up with the bat.”

“There’s some guys there with not a huge amount of international experience so it can be tough at times,” Finch said, adding that the experience would serve his team well despite the series loss.

Australia, which won the fourth match after losing the first three, made four changes. Leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson was also named for his first game on tour while Josh Hazlewood and Josh Philippe returned to the side. Mitchell Starc was rested and Riley Meredith, Dan Christian and Ashton Turner were also left out.

The teams will now play three one-day internationals at Bridgetown, Barbados. The first match is scheduled for Tuesday.

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