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  5. 2019 World Cup: Finch lavishes praise on Coulter-Nile, Holder asks batsmen to learn from Smith

2019 World Cup: Finch lavishes praise on Coulter-Nile, Holder asks batsmen to learn from Smith

Nathan Coulter-Nile slammed 92 off 60 balls and took Australia to 288 from a spot of bother while the West Indies middle-order collapsed and lost by 15 runs.

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Nottingham Published on: June 07, 2019 12:37 IST
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Nathan Coulter-Nile and Steve Smith put on 102 runs for the seventh wicket against West Indies

Australia skipper Aaron Finch heaped praise on Nathan Coulter-Nile who scored a brilliant 60-ball 92 and helped them beat West Indies by 15 runs in their second World Cup tie at Trent Bridge.

On Thursday, Coulter-Nile -- who is generally not known for his batting -- stitched a crucial partnership with Steve Smith and took his team to a more-than-decent total of 288 which his team successfully defended.

Coulter-Nile, who had never scored over 64 in any form of cricket and has only five half-centuries to his name in first-class and List A cricket combined, unleashed a devastating knock after the Aussies were reduced to 38/4 early on due to short-pitched deliveries unleashed by the West Indian fast bowlers.

With Smith, who led a remarkable fight back with a 73 off 103 deliveries, Coulter-Nile belted four sixes and eight fours in a dazzling counter-attacking innings.

"That innings of Coulter-Nile was exceptional. We always thought he had the ability and today he got the opportunity to bat longer," Finch said after the match.

Talking about his inning, Coulter-Nile revealed that he did not think that he would go on to score 92 in Australia's fightback.

"I did not think I would get that much. I remember Smith being on 81 and me not hanging around in a practice game, so I thought I would stick around a little bit. I played a pull shot second ball and it went up, luck went my way -- a couple dropped safely and inside edged a few. That's the way cricket goes," said the right-handed fast bowler.

The Australian skipper, however, acknowledged the threat posed by West Indies and said: "I was nervous when they were coming hard at us at 30/4. We kept fighting back."

"We just kept hanging in there. From 4 for 30 odd to be able to fight back and then a partnership between Smith and (Alex) Carey got us deeper. Even with the bowl we hung in there. I am really proud of the guys.

"We kept taking wickets (during the Windies inning) which was crucial. You have to keep taking wickets against West Indies since they are so destructive," he added.

The 32-year-old also admitted that the top-order batsmen played poor shots which ultimately put them in a spot before Smith and Carey got them back into the game.

"Our top-order was disappointing and played a few poor shots. And with the bowl, we have few areas to improve. To still come out with 2 points, with a lot of improvement to do, is a real positive for us."

Chasing 289 for victory, Shai Hope scored an impressive 68 and Jason Holder threatened to win the game off his own bat before he got out after scoring 51.

Mitchell Starc was the pick of the Australian bowlers and bowled brilliantly, especially at the death, picking up key wickets to finish with figures of 5/46 as the Caribbean team finished their stipulated quota of 50 overs at 9/273.

Meanwhile, West Indies captain Jason Holder said his team can learn a lot from the way Steve Smith batted to script a remarkable turnaround for Australia. 

"We definitely missed an opportunity in that game, we can learn from it, but we’re disappointed to have lost from that point," said Holder after the loss on Thursday.

"Partnerships are a big part of cricket and we saw Steve do that alongside Alex Carey and then Nathan Coulter-Nile. They played positively, we put Coulter-Nile down on 60-odd and that proved costly."

It was the West Indies' first loss in the competition, having thrashed Pakistan in their opener.

"Guys need to learn from their mistakes and take on the responsibility, especially in a chase. One of the top four needs to be there at the end and we saw Steve Smith do that.

"Steve batted quite deep and needed to, Shai Hope has been outstanding in doing that for us but it didn’t go his way this time. But you have to give credit to Australia, they played very well," he said.

As they did against Pakistan on the same ground, the West Indies' fast bowlers profited early with Sheldon Cottrell taking two wickets to help reduce Australia to 38 for four.

This time, however, their opponents found form with the bat as partnerships developed, Smith and Coulter-Nile taking Aaron Finch’s side to 288 before being bowled out.

It looked like being a reachable total before Starc took over with five for 46, including three wickets in his last two overs.

"Starc bowled very well, you know what you are going to get with him, he bowls quite full and had a really good spell at the end. Credit must be given to him, he had a really good day.

"As a team they came back with the old ball and bowled really well, they created problems for us and we had to decide whether to play the shots or knock the ball around. They asked questions of us and that’s what you have to give them credit for."

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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