Following a narrow four-run victory against Windies, Australian skipper Aaron Finch has admitted that the team knew Mitchell Starc would pull it off against Andre Russell in the last over. Finch also credited Mitchell Marsh’s batting display, adding that his batting set the pace for them.
Thanks to three consecutive losses, Australia were under tremendous pressure to overturn their fortunes against Nicholas Pooran-led Windies side on Wednesday. Having won the toss, the Australian openers were under the pump early on, which saw Matthew Wade being dismissed for just five runs. Mitchell Marsh’s continued form, however, allowed for Aaron Finch to take his own time to get back into form.
On the back of Marsh’s 44-ball 75 and skipper Finch’s 37-ball 53, the Australian side got themselves to a respectable total of 189 after the 20 overs. While the hosts gave them a scare in the powerplay, racing off to 75 runs, the Australian bowlers did a marvellous job of pulling things back, with Mitchell Starc delivering the telling blow in the final over to stop Andre Russell from finishing the match.
In the post-match presentation, Australian skipper Finch backed Mitchell Starc’s show and added that the entire team was confident about his ability to pull the last over. Finch also insisted that the other bowlers, in particular Jason Behrendorff and Adam Zampa, were incredible in the middle-overs, which played a part in the victory.
“We knew Starc could do it (the final over), he's been doing this for over 10 years now. Behrendorff was fantastic, and Zampa was incredible, especially when we were going around the park a little bit, and he came in to take a couple of wickets and slowed things down,” Finch said.
Finch also reckoned that Mitchell Marsh’s continued success and his strike rate allowed for him to settle well at the other end, with minimal risks.
“It was a good all-round performance. The bowlers showed really good character in the end, after conceding a lot in the powerplay. Mitch (Marsh) got off to a flyer and that meant I could minimize my risks. The rain break was a chance for us to accelerate later, and it put us in a great position with how Mitch batted,” he added.
Marsh, who was deemed as the Player of the match, for scoring a 44-ball 75 and picking up 3/24 with the ball, stated that it was a ‘big’ responsibility for him to bat in the top three for the national team. He also praised the left-arm pacer Starc for the last over, where he defended 10 runs with ease.
“It's big having the responsibility of batting in the top three. It was a great partnership with Finch tonight. I thought the new ball came on well tonight, and it was fun to play with freedom. The bowlers bowled really well today against a good West Indies side. The wicket slowed a little at the backend for both teams but with the West Indies you never know. Starc's last over was fantastic,” Marsh said.