Shimron Hetmyer scored 61 runs in a 103-run stand with Dwayne Bravo on Saturday, putting the West Indies on track for a 56-run victory against Australia in the second Twenty20 international.
Bravo went on to score an unbeaten 47 as the West Indies racked up 196-4 in their final ten overs against a sluggish Australian assault.
At initially, Australia matched the West Indies’ speed, with Mitchell Marsh scoring 54 off 42 balls for his second straight half-century, following his 51 in the opening match of the series. The remainder of Australia’s batters, however, offered little resistance for the second time, and the tourists were bowled out for 140 with four balls remaining.
For the second time in the series, Australia skipper Aaron Finch’s decision to bowl after winning the toss appeared to be irrational. Mitchell Starc, who had returned 0-40 in the first encounter, failed again in West Indies conditions, surrendering 49 runs from his four overs.
For the West Indies, Lendl Simmons provided stability at the top of the order with 30 from 21 balls before Hetmyer came up to perform the crucial anchor position in the middle of the innings.
With a six off Starc, Hetmyer scored his second T20 international half-century in 29 balls. Before being run out in the 18th over, he finished with four sixes and two fours and 61 runs off 36 balls.
Hetmyer stated, “I think that was one of my finest T20 innings.” “I think I did a good job of pacing it. It worked out great for me since the men believed in me and gave me the responsibility of taking it to the next level. Once you’ve done that, you really have a free licence, and I appreciate the team for entrusting me with that role.”
In the opening half of each innings, there wasn’t much between the West Indies and Australia. After the power play, the West Indies were 46-2, Australia was 42-2, and both teams were 59-3 at the completion of eight overs.
However, the West Indies innings blossomed in the second half, whilst Australia’s withered, though not as spectacularly as it did in the previous match, when it was defeated by 18 runs after losing 6-19.
The West Indies followed up their excellent batting performance with another fantastic fielding performance.
Sheldon Cottrell stepped in for Obed McCoy, who was rested due to fatigue, and bowled brilliantly at the start of the innings, taking 2-22.
With his pace-off style, Hayden Walsh junior delivered a superb stretch of leg spin during the middle of the innings, unsettling the Australian batters and ending with 3-29. In the last over, Chris Gayle bowled Josh Hazlewood with his second ball, bringing the Australian innings to a close.
“When you chase 190, you have to get off to a strong start, and when your two openers are out cheaply, it puts a lot of pressure on a fairly inexperienced middle order,” Finch explained. “The difference between the teams was a 103 run combination between Hetmyer and Bravo.
“If you can achieve that, you can start putting pressure on the opponent, and we didn’t get an opportunity to do that.”