World Cup 2019: Coulter-Nile turns the clock back for Australia
- We saw a shade of the old 'mighty' Australia as they dug themselves out of a hole in a thrilling contest against the West Indies.
In the 2003 World Cup, Australia was struggling against Pakistan as they were put into bat on a green strip at Johannesburg and both the openers were back in the hut with just 52 runs on the board in the 11th over.
With the score on 86-4, Andrew Symonds came in and put up an important 60-run stand with skipper Ricky Ponting before the latter was sent back by Shoaib Akhtar. However, in the company of the tailenders, Symonds took up the onus of scoring big and notched up a stunning 125-ball unbeaten 143 with 18 fours and two sixes and took Australia to 310-8.
In the ongoing 2019 World Cup, we saw something similar, if not better with Nathan Coulter-Nile coming in with the score at 147-6 and playing a tremendous counter-attacking inning to take the Aussies to a competitive score of 288.
West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl, and they came out with the same aggressive bowling that Pakistan had to face a few days back. Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, and Andre Russell got stuck in with some nasty short balls and then bluffed the Aussie batsmen with some full deliveries.
Australia was left tottering at 79-5, and just like Pakistan a few days ago, they struggled to counter the short-pitched bowling dished out at them until Alex Carey walked in. Carey, in the company of Steve Smith put up 68 runs before he holed out, exposing the lower middle order with 20 overs to go.Steve Smith was still at the crease though, and credit to him, he made sure he didn't throw away his wicket as he battled through a brilliant stint of bowling by the West Indies.
Coulter-Nile, who came in with the side under the pump was particularly severe on the leg side as he played some tenacious pull shots and wristy flick shots off his pads. West Indies could not find an answer for Coulter-Nile as he went on to score a magnificent 92 off 60 balls. Smith scored a crucial 73 and he was the glue to the Australian innings, but it was Coulter-Nile who provided the much-needed impetus to take the score to 288 as he batted with the tailenders.
In the end, Coulter-Nile's innings was a game changer as West Indies fell short by 15 runs and the burly all-rounder earned the 'Player of the Match' award for his top knock.