'What the hell': Cricket world in disbelief over 'crazy' scenes

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Mitchell Starc, pictured here bowling five-straight dot balls to Andre Russell.
Mitchell Starc bowled five-straight dot balls to Andre Russell in the final over. Image: Fox Sports

Andre Russell has copped the wrath of cricket fans after making a meal of the final over to dash the West Indies' incredible run chase against Australia in the fourth T20.

Needing 11 runs off the final over in St Lucia on Wednesday, Russell passed up a number of singles early in the over in fear of exposing batting partner Hayden Walsh.

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In farcical scenes, Russell was unable to get Mitchell Starc away for five consecutive dot balls.

Russell finally blasted a boundary off the final ball, but it was too little too late as Australia finally tasted victory after three-straight defeats.

Lendl Simmons led off the West Indies' chase with a boisterous innings of 72 at the top of the order.

But when he fell to Mitch Marsh, one of three wickets for the experienced all-rounder, the balance of the match began to tilt in favour of the Aussies.

Spectacular hitting by Russell (24 off 13 balls) and Fabian Allen then gave the West Indies hope after they combined to take 25 runs off the penultimate over from Riley Meredith.

Allen blasted 29 from just 14 balls to give the Windies a chance, but it wasn't to be as Russell fell flat in the final over.

Fans were quick to question Russell's decision to hog the strike for the final six balls, while others pointed out that Starc had bowled a brilliant death over.

Mitchell Marsh stars as Australia avoids clean sweep

Another fine innings from Marsh had earlier propelled Australia to their series-best score of 6-189.

A second wicket stand of 114 off 63 balls between Marsh (75 off 44 balls) and Aaron Finch (53 off 37) put the West Indies attack under sustained pressure for the first time in the series.

After being well placed at 1-126 in the 12th over, Australia faltered again in the closing overs by losing 5-40 with only Dan Christian (22 off 14) providing a late cameo.

Australia, striving to avoid losing their first four matches of a T20 series for the first time, hit 10 sixes, just Ione less than they managed in the first three matches combined.

Marsh, who scored half centuries in the first two games, smashed six sixes and four fours before he was dismissed in the 18th over.

Adam Zampa and Ashton Turner, pictured here celebrating the dismissal of Andre Fletcher.
Adam Zampa and Ashton Turner celebrate the dismissal of Andre Fletcher. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

"I'm from WA (Western Australia), so a bit of pace off the pitch suited me nicely and really allowed me to get away," he explained after receiving the Man of the Match award.

"We knew it was always going to be a challenge to contain the West Indies big-hitters, whatever total we got, and I'm just grateful to be able to make useful contributions with bat and ball."

Simmons was Marsh's third wicket as he had earlier accounted for Chris Gayle, West Indies' match-winner in the third fixture two days earlier, and Nicholas Pooran - who continues in the role of captain in place of the injured Kieron Pollard.

"It was disappointing to fall short in the end but it's still all good for us going forward because we continue to see good performances from key players," said Pooran.

"There are a lot of guys here looking to make a statement before the World T20 and Hayden (Walsh) is one of those who keeps putting his hand up. He was outstanding again."

with agencies

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