Australia might have entered the series opener as the favorite but the West Indies had other plans. Defending a paltry 145 runs, Windies bowlers put up a startling performance to stage a comeback and win the first T20I by 18 runs. Two newcomers, Obed McCoy and Hayden Walsh were the stars for the hosts, together picking up seven wickets to derail an easy chase.
Batting first, Windies managed just 145, thanks to Andre Russell’s quick fire 51 off just 28 balls. Russell was at his belligerent best, hitting three fours and five sixes to achieve the characteristic strike rate of 182.14. Lendl Simmons (27 off 28 balls), Shimron Hetmeyer (20 off 25 balls), and Captain Nicholas Pooran (17 off 16 balls) were the other notable contributors.
Australia started off badly, losing skipper Finch in the second over at the team total of 8. But then, opener Matthew Wade (33 off 14 balls) and the number three, Mitchell Marsh (51 off 31 balls) took the Windies bowlers to the cleaners. When Australia seemed cruising their way, the Windies struck back to take the last six wickets for 19 runs and seal a memorable win.
With the second T20I scheduled on 11 July, 2021, here’re a few betting tips and fantasy cricket predictions for the benefit of punters and fantasy leaguers. Read on for informed decisions.
Who’ll win the match?
Australia would be keen to stage a comeback after a shocking defeat. However, their batting hasn’t clicked, save for Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh. On the other hand, Windies have their tails up after trouncing a stronger opposition convincingly with a sub-par total. Bowlers, especially Walsh and McCoy are in rhythm and expected to trouble the struggling Aussies. The top order batsmen, notably Shimron Hetmyer and Pooran are due for some big runs. The way Andre Russell demolished the Aussie attack; signs are encouraging for the hosts. West Indies are most likely to win the upcoming contest, unless, of course, something drastic transpires.
Who’ll be the top batsmen?
Riding high on a fine form, Andre Russell could again come up with a stroke-filled knock to end up as the highest scorer. Shimron Hetmeyer and Mitchell Marsh might also be considered. If he finds his form, Australian Captain, Aaron Finch has what it takes to score big and score quickly.
Who’ll be the top bowler?
Walsh and McCoy have shown some promise but they lack the all-important experience. On the other hand, Josh Hazelwood has the skills, pace and experience to take wickets.
Who’ll hit the most sixes?
Hands down, Andre Russell is the top contender.
Who’ll win the toss?
West Indies are expected to win the toss and bat first.
How much would the West Indies score batting first?
With batting all set to return to form, expect a total in excess of 180.
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