Australia secured their place in the Super Eight stage of the World Twenty20 with a 17-run Duckworth/Lewis Group B victory over West Indies after rain curtailed play in Colombo. A downpour interrupted the Australians’ charge towards their 193 target when they were 100 for one – 17 runs ahead of the Duckworth/Lewis par score after 9.1 overs.
All-rounder Shane Watson was unbeaten on 41 from 24 deliveries alongside Michael Hussey (28 off 19) when the heavens opened.
The Windies earlier posted 192 for eight from their 20 overs after captain Darren Sammy won the toss, their total underpinned by half-centuries from Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels.
Opener Gayle smashed 54 off 33 balls before being caught and bowled by Watson, while Samuels plundered three fours and four sixes in reaching 50 off 32. He holed out to David Warner at long-on off the bowling of Brad Hogg. Paceman Mitchell Starc (three for 35) and Watson (two for 29) were the pick of the Australia bowlers.
Australia suffered an early setback when Warner was out caught behind by Denesh Ramdin off Fidel Edwards from the first ball of the third over, but not before he had racked up 28 from 14 balls. However, Watson and Hussey set about reducing the 9.65 required run-rate, which ultimately proved crucial. The result left West Indies facing a winner-takes-all clash with Ireland tomorrow.
Earlier, South Africa thrashed World Twenty20 hosts Sri Lanka in Hambantota after a rain delay reduced their Group C showdown to a seven-overs-a-side match.
Captain AB de Villiers crunched 30 from 13 balls in South Africa’s 78 for four and Sri Lanka never threatened to go close to that total, limping instead to 46 for five.
Both sides were already through after wins over Zimbabwe.