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Evin Lewis smashes 34-ball 79 as West Indies tame Australia

Gros Islet (St Lucia), July 17 (IANS) West Indies scored a thrilling 16-run victory over Australia in the fifth and final T20I with Evin Lewis smashing a 34-ball 79 and Fabian Allen taking a breath-taking catch as the hosts wrapped up the series 4-1 at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground here.

West Indies set an imposing 199/8 in their 20 overs before they restricted the visitors to 183/9 on Saturday (IST).

Left-hander Lewis smashed nine sixes — including the 100th of his career — as West Indies made 81 runs in the power play, which set the stage for their match-winning target.

The innings was built on four 40-plus partnerships for each of first four wickets — 40 (27 balls) by Lewis and Andre Fletcher; 43 (14 balls) by Lewis and Chris Gayle; 41 (27 balls) by Lewis and Lendl Simmons; and 44 (23 balls) by Simmons and skipper Nicholas Pooran.

Then, Sheldon Cottrell 3/28 and Andre Russell, who returned a career-best 3/43, ensured victory for the hosts.

Fabian Allen’s catch was the one of the highlights of the match as, fielding at long-on, he sprinted around the boundary, then dived full stretch to record a superb one-handed catch to dismiss Australia captain Aaron Finch off leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr.

It was the game-changing moment as Australia lost their third wicket in the 10th over with the score on 95. It was one of two catches that Allen took on Saturday as he ended the series with seven — the most by any player in a bilateral T20I series.

Brief scores: West Indies 199/8 in 20 overs (E Lewis 79, N Pooran 31; A Tye 3/37, M Marsh 2/12, A Zampa 2/30) beat Australia 183/9 in 20 overs (A Finch 34, M Marsh 30; A Russell 3/43, S Cottrell 3/28) by 16 runs.

–IANS

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