Australia finally got on the board with a four run win, in a seesawing affair in the fourth T20. Mitch Marsh continued his remarkable form, while Aaron Finch finally got back in form. Can the Aussies use this win to create some momentum? Or will the West Indies wrap up a convincing series victory? We’ve got you covered with preview and tips for the fifth T20!
Darren Sammy Stadium, Saturday July 17th, 9:30am AEST
It was an epic encounter in the fourth T20, as Australia’s batting line up finally got going, as they posted 6/189. The excellent batting performance looked all for nothing as the West Indies raced to 1/75 in the powerplay, but Mitch Marsh (3/24) and Adam Zampa (2/20) steered Australia into a winning position. That was not without a scare as Riley Meredith conceded 25 in the penultimate over, leaving Andre Russell with just eleven runs required off the final over. But Mitchell Starc produced a stunning over, producing five dot balls before Russell hit a six off the final ball, as Australia secured victory.
Mitch Marsh remained red hot blasting 75 off 44 deliveries to go with his 3/24, but it was the returns to form by Aaron Finch and Adam Zampa that would have Australian fans relieved. The Australian skipper had scores of 36, 4, 6 and 30 leading into this match, but blasted 53 off 37 balls, in a 114 run partnership with Marsh. Adam Zampa had figures of 0/93 from ten overs so far in the series, but produced a crucial spell of 2/20 which completely swung the game. When Finch and Zampa are performing, Australia are a tough team to beat.
The fast bowling is still a concern for Australia as Riley Meredith (1/57), Dan Christian (0/23 off 1) and Starc (0/37) leaked runs far too easily. Meredith will likely come out of the side for Josh Hazlewood to bring back some control as Lendl Simmons (150), Evin Lewis (221), Andre Russell (184) and Fabien Allen (207) had strike rates in excess of 150.
Hayden Walsh once again ripped through the Australian middle order taking 3/27, but the Aussies did a much better job targeting the other six bowlers for the Windies, who all went over 7.75 runs an over. The Australians have finally executed a method with both bat and ball, and they should be full of confidence that they can carry that into the final game.
Mitch Marsh has provided a platform all series long and it’s taken just one teammate to join him to set up a winning score for Australia. The West Indies looked complacent for large periods of this game, and it’s hard to see them replicating the intensity they brought across the first three matches. Australia will be desperate to avoid losing 4-1, with there being very little to gain for the West Indies given they’ve already sealed the series. Australia look to have finally cracked the formula for their best method with the bat, and they should be able to continue that form with Mitch Marsh providing a consistent platform for the Aussies.
Lendl Simmons continued his excellent 2021 form, smashing 72 off 48 in game four. Simmons has scored 289 runs at an average of 28 with a strike rate of 130. Simmons has scored below fifteen only once in his ten innings this year, and has scores of 27, 30, 15 and 72 this series. Simmons is another West Indian who has played in the BBL and has experienced against this Australian attack. The Aussie opening bowlers have struggled this series, which has given him opportunities to score big runs in the powerplay. Simmons is in great form and will be a great choice as the West Indies top scorer.
Mitch Marsh has been the saviour for Australia this year, as he picked up his third half century in four matches on Thursday. It continues an excellent couple of years for Marsh, who has scored his five best T20I scores in that time frame, with four of those coming in 2021. Marsh is the leading run scorer in the series with 189 runs at an average of 47, with a strike rate of 147. Marsh’s 2021 form looks to have secured him a spot in the World Cup side, scoring 256 runs at an average of 32 in 2021. The Windies haven’t been able to contain Marsh, who has evolved into a very well rounded batsmen. Marsh has been red hot all series long, and will be looking to finish strong.
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