• Gayle controversy overshadows Australia win

    Australia beat the West Indies by 15 runs in Thursday’s World Cup fixture at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

    • Coulter-Nile breaks World Cup record
    • Gayle dismissed in controversial fashion
    • Australia, like New Zealand, remain unbeaten

    The result saw Australia join New Zealand at the top of the 2019 tournament’s 10-team standings. Both have two victories from as many matches.

    Former captain Steven Smith struck an ODI half-century for the first time since September 2017. Of course, that period included a 12-month ban for being involved in last year’s ball-tampering scandal that marred Australia’s Test tour of South Africa.

    The hard-hitting Nathan Coulter-Nile, meanwhile, hit the highest score by a No 8 batsman in World Cup cricket. His 92, which featured eight fours and a quartet of sixes, and spanned a mere 60 deliveries, bettered the 72 not out collected by Zimbabwe’s Heath Streak against New Zealand in Bloemfontein during the 2003 World Cup.

    Coulter-Nile’s late salvo rescued the Australians from a precarious 147 for six to a final total of 288 all out, which ultimately proved ample.

    The West Indies’ response reached an insufficient 273 for nine, but might have been more – and successful – had opening batsman Chris Gayle not been robbed by a mistake from umpire Chris Gaffaney. Gaffaney failed to signal a no-ball for the delivery prior to Gayle’s dismissal.

    Fast bowler Mitchell Starc overstepped the crease by a substantial margin – and removed the left-handed Gayle a delivery later. The ball that dismissed Gayle should have been deemed a free hit. The wicket was among five for Starc, who didn’t beat Coulter-Nile to the Player of the Match accolade, regardless.

    Wednesday saw India and New Zealand beat South Africa and Bangladesh respectively. Friday will see Pakistan meet Sri Lanka in Bristol.


    Photo: Getty Images

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