'Catch of the World Cup' stuns cricket viewers

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Cricket viewers have been left absolutely gobsmacked after Australia's Steve Smith fell victim to one of the best catches of the Cricket World Cup.

Smith had steadied the ship against the West Indies after seeing his side 's top order collapse after being sent in to bat first.

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The former Aussie captain had moved past a half century and was looking settled at the crease when he attempted to lift the run rate for his side.

Smith picked out the short leg side boundary to try and whip a shot through the air but his attempted six was snuffed out expertly by a moment of genius from Windies bowler Sheldon Cottrell.

Sheldon Cottrell's grab was one of the catches of the tournament.
Sheldon Cottrell took a stunning catch to remove Steve Smith. Pic: CWC

The quick showed amazing pace and poise to pluck the one-handed catch out of the sky, while somehow remaining inside the boundary rope.

Knowing he was about to cross the rope, Sheldon tossed the ball back up in the air, crossing over the rope and back again, before completing the astonishing catch.

Commentators and fans were left almost speechless by the moment of magic.

After the defending champions fell to 4-38 and 5-79 early, Smith stabilised the Australian innings with a measured 73 before his dismissal.

Nathan Coulter-Nile then exploded late, whacking 92 off just 60 balls and forming part of a 102-run partnership with Smith that turned the match.

Unlike the rest of the top order, Smith looked comfortable against the much vaunted West Indies short-pitched approach.

He drove nicely off the back foot and manipulated the field, showing signs of his best as he worked the ball through the legside.

He faced 103 balls and hit just seven boundaries, but his innings was vital as Australia at one stage looked set to be rolled for one of their lowest scores in World Cup history.

He was eventually out when he flicked Oshane Thomas (2-63) to backward square leg, where Cottrell caught the ball one handed, threw it in the air as he ran over the rope and then regathered.

Smith first combined in a 68-run stand with Alex Carey (45), who cover drove and cut the ball nicely after initially taking 15 balls to get off the mark.

Record-breaking Coulter-Nile lifts Aussies

Coulter-Nile's knock was far more brutal before Australia were all out in the 49th over.

He whacked four sixes and was dangerous off his legs, flicking and pulling the ball at will before driving hard late.

Averaging just 12.83 before the knock, he fell only eight runs short of his maiden century when he holed out to long-on off Carlos Brathwaite (3-67) in the penultimate over.

Nathan Coulter-Nile rescued the Aussie innings with a crucial 92.
Nathan Coulter-Nile top-scored for Australia. Pic: Getty

Even still, the swashbuckling 92 is a new Australian ODI and World Cup record for a batsman coming in at eight or lower in the order.

The team's top order had earlier left plenty to be desired.

Aaron Finch (6) was the first to go when he nicked one that just went away from him off Thomas, before David Warner (3) was caught at backward point slashing at Cottrell (2-56).

Usman Khawaja (13) and Glenn Maxwell's dismissals were then far more ugly.

After copping two body blows as the Windies attacked him with short-pitched bowling, Khawaja backed away and tried to drive a full ball from Andre Russell (2-41) but only succeeded in edging it to 'keeper Shai Hope.

Maxwell then followed for a second-ball duck, skying an attempted pull shot odd Cottrell straight to Hope.

Marcus Stoinis then began Australia's rebuild in a 31-run partnership with Smith, before he pulled Jason Holder straight to mid-wicket on 19.

Starc bowls Aussies to victory

Mitchell Starc then produced the kind of spell that won Australia the last World Cup as the defending champions fought back late to claim a 15-run victory over the West Indies.

Starc claimed four wickets and conceded just two runs in his final 14 balls at Trent Bridge, as his figures of 5-44 stopped the Windies from chasing down 288.

It capped off what appeared to be an unlikely win, after the Aussies slumped to 4-38 early before Steve Smith started the recovery with a measured 73 before Nathan Coulter-Nile whacked 92 from 60 balls.

But the biggest warning shot to Australia's rivals will be the revitalised form of Starc, who player of the tournament in 2015 with 22 wickets at 10.18.

"I felt really good today," Starc said.

"Rhythm is starting to feel really good, and the things I've been working on the last few months are really coming to fruition, so that's a huge positive for me."

Starc's wickets made him the fastest bowler to 150 in one-day internationals, and all five were crucial in Australia's win.

Mitchell Starc was the pick of Australia's bowlers.
Mitchell Starc took five wickets for Australia. Pic: Getty

He and Pat Cummins put the Aussies straight on the front foot with the ball, removing openers Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle in the first five overs.

Starc got the dangerous Gayle at the third time of asking on 21, after the Jamaican twice successfully reviewed lbw and caught behind decisions.

He then twice returned to rip the heart out of the West Indies line-up late in the chase and keep Australia undefeated.

He claimed the prized scalp of the powerful Andre Russell for 15, before taking the wickets of Carlos Brathwaite and Jason Holder in the same over just as the match swung in the Windies' favour.

Needing 37 from 27 balls, Brathwaite tried to take on a Starc slower ball but only succeeded in skying it to Aaron Finch at mid on, before Holder pulled him to short fine leg.

With AAP

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