Gros Islet (St Lucia):A power-packed innings from Evin Lewis helped West Indies beat Australia by 16 runs in the fifth and final T20I and clinch the five match series 4-1, here on Saturday.
Electing to bat, West Indies posted a daunting total of 199 in 20 overs courtesy a 34-ball 79 from Lewis. In reply, Australia were restricted to 183/9 and fell 16 short of the target to concede both match and series.
Openers gave West Indies a flying start as they scored 40 runs in the first four overs before Adam Zampa (2/30) bowled Andre Fletcher for 12.
Chris Gayle, who came to bat next, collected 20 runs from the first five balls he faced, hitting Zampa for two fours and two sixes. Lewis, who had already hit three sixes and a four by that stage, then hit two more sixes and two more fours in a single 21-run over from Jason Behrendorff (0/46).
Mitchell Swepson's (1/41) introduction brought an end to Gayle's innings on 21, but there was no stopping Lewis, who reached his half-century in 23 balls in the eighth over. He celebrated the fifty by hitting four consecutive sixes across two overs from Andrew Tye (3/37) and Swepson.
Needing to change something to stem the flow of runs, Aaron Finch turned to his most reliable performer in the series, and Mitchell Marsh (2/12) delivered by removing Lewis in the 11th over.
Marsh struck again in the 15th over to dismiss Lendl Simmons (21) but the man Australia needed to remove was Nicholas Pooran, who had carried on where Lewis had left off.
The West Indies captain was sitting on 27 off 13 going into the final four overs, with West Indies 173/5 and eying a total well in excess of 200. However, the Australians managed to stop the damage, with Pooran eventually out for 31 in the 18th and West Indies held to 199/8 from their 20 overs.
Chasing a huge target for victory, the Australians looked on course in the 10th over, with a 49-run stand between Finch (34) and Moises Henriques (21) taking them to 95/2 despite the early loss of Josh Philippe (0) and Marsh (30).
However, two wickets in the same over proved the game’s decisive moment. The first man out was Finch, caught incredibly by Allen for 34. Two balls later, Pooran produced another impressive effort in the field, sprinting from his position as keeper to short midwicket before throwing down the striker’s stumps with a direct hit to remove Henriques for 21.
The Australian innings failed to get going from there as regular wickets repeatedly stalled momentum, with Josh Hazlewood’s five-ball 13 not out required to bring the margin of defeat under 20 runs.(UNI)