Cricket World Cup matchday eight: Coulter-Nile and Starc shine for Australia
The duo helped Australia beat West Indies by 15 runs to make it two wins from two at the World Cup.
Nathan Coulter-Nile’s extraordinary 92 from 60 balls and Mitchell Starc’s five-wicket haul ushered Australia to a 15-run victory over West Indies at Trent Bridge.
Ostensibly selected for his seam bowling, Coulter-Nile emphatically delivered with the willow for the highest World Cup score by a number eight batsman or lower as Australia posted 288 all out despite slumping to 38 for four.
It was a total that would ultimately prove beyond the Windies, despite fifties for Shai Hope and Jason Holder, as Starc bowled with pace and venom to take key wickets and finish with five for 46 – including a burst of four for two runs in the space of 11 balls late on.
Australia were therefore left celebrating a second win from two in the tournament, largely thanks to the unexpected batting prowess of Coulter-Nile, who had a previous best score of 34 from 28 one-day internationals.
Tweet of the day
All that’s important is that we should all focus on supporting the team at the World Cup. There is a long way to go and I believe the boys can still go all the way #ProteaFire— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) June 6, 2019
AB De Villiers calls for unity on the day Cricket South Africa announced it had rejected the star batsman’s offer to reverse his international retirement in order to be included in the World Cup squad a couple of months ago.
World Cup snapshot
Quote of the day
AB is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world, but above all else, we have to stay true to our morals and principles. There is no regret in the decision. Linda Zondi
Cricket South Africa’s convener of selectors outlines the reason for deciding against selecting AB De Villiers in their World Cup squad.
8 - Nathan Coulter-Nile's 92 off 60 balls goes down as his highest List A score; only once before has a number 8 posted more in an ODI innings (95* - Woakes v SL, 2016). Vital. #CWC19 #AUSvWI pic.twitter.com/8CS4fQTJMj— OptaJim (@OptaJim) June 6, 2019
With Steve Smith (73) anchoring the innings, Coulter-Nile took the opportunity to cut loose at the other end and his extraordinary effort was the highest score by someone batting at number eight or lower in World Cup history, eclipsing the 72 not out Heath Streak registered for Zimbabwe against New Zealand in Bloemfontein 16 years ago.
Take your pick from any of Coulter-Nile’s four sixes but his clearance of the long-on boundary off Carlos Brathwaite immediately after bringing up his maiden international fifty may have been the best of the lot. Brathwaite obliged Coulter-Nile with a shin-high full toss, which the lower order batsman dispatched with a lovely straight batted flourish.
Mitchell Starc must have feared luck had abandoned him when technology twice reprieved Chris Gayle off his bowling but the left-arm paceman had the last laugh. Umpire Chris Gaffaney’s finger went up for a third time when Gayle was pinned low on the shin by a fuller delivery from Starc. After lengthy deliberations with batting partner Shai Hope, Gayle reviewed for a third time but Hawkeye showed the ball would have clipped the leg stump.
Catch of the day
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 6, 2019
Shai Hope took a blinder diving low to his left to see off Usman Khawaja but his catch was well and truly overshadowed by a stunner from Sheldon Cottrell that was every inch as jaw-dropping as Ben Stokes’ grab last week. Cottrell had stumbled in his attempt to catch Smith on 26 but made amends – albeit after the former Australia captain had added 47 more runs – when sprinting along the deep backward square-leg boundary to pluck the ball out of the air with his left hand. Cottrell threw it up and then completed the catch after his momentum had briefly taken him over the boundary rope.
What’s up next?
June 7: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Bristol.