Nathan Coulter-Nile played an innings of great enterprise but also of great substance to lift Australia from six for 149 to post 288 batting first against the West Indies in its second match of the 2019 World Cup at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Thursday.
The pacer, batting at No. 8, eventually holed out at long-off after making 92 runs off 60 balls (8 fours, 4 sixes), but Australia had, by then, added 135 runs and demoralised the West Indies bowling attack, which will have envisaged bowling out the five-time world champion for less than 200. Coulter-Nile's 92 is now the highest score by a batsman batting at No. 8 in the World Cup and the joint-second-highest by a No. 8 batsman in One-Day International cricket. It was also his maiden ODI half-century.
Coulter-Nile was initially being troubled by West Indies' short-ball tactic; he top-edged his second delivery off Andre Russell and the ball fell in between the converging wicketkeeper and square-leg fielder. He continued to be peppered by the short delivery, but importantly, he survived that hostile spell by Russell, in particular, strolling to 3 runs off 9 balls.
A punch-drive off Oshane Thomas down the ground in the 34th over set Coulter-Nile on his way and the momentum of his and Australia's innings changed. West Indies began trying too hard for the breakthrough and Coulter-Nile opted to meet fire with fire by taking on the short ball and forcing a change in the bowler's lengths.
He feasted on the fuller-length deliveries as his innings progressed and began to take the match away from the West Indies' grasp. Coulter-Nile's clean ball-striking meant Australia added 59 runs between when he walked in to bat and the end of the 40th over, while the last 10 overs of the innings yielded 82 runs, taking Australia closer to 300.
Coulter-Nile was set to get to what will have been his maiden ODI hundred, but he fell trying to take on the long-off fielder and was caught by Sheldon Cottrell.
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