West Indies crush Australia by 74 to reach world Twenty20 final
Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard lit up the second semi-final with scintillating power-hitting as West Indies crushed Australia by 74 runs yesterday to reach their first World Twenty20 final.
Gayle ignored a side strain to blast six sixes and five boundaries in his unbeaten 41-ball knock to help West Indies post a mammoth 205 for four wickets at the R Premadasa Stadium. Down the order, Pollard (38) hit three successive sixes in the final over of the innings to take West Indies past the 200-run mark.
Dwayne Bravo (37) celebrated his return to the side hitting three sixes in his 31-ball knock, while Marlon Samuels chipped in with brisk 26 runs.
For Australia, Pat Cummins claimed two wickets for 36 runs.
Chasing such a huge target, Australia needed handsome contribution from their big- hitters but that did not happen.
Skipper George Bailey hit a desperate 63 off 29 deliveries but Ravi Rampaul (3-16), Samuel Badree (2-27), Sunil Narine (2-17) and Pollard (2-6) struck regular blows to earn West Indies a place in tomorrow’s final against hosts Sri Lanka.
Defending a massive total, West Indies started with spin from both ends and were rewarded soon as leg-spinner Badree removed both the big-hitting openers, David Warner (one) and Shane Watson (seven). Australia could never really recover after they slumped to 29 for three in the fifth over as wickets kept tumbling and the required run rate spiralling.
Gayle is promising more of the same from West Indies in the final.
“We’re definitely going to ‘rock’ against Sri Lanka,” said the destructive opener, who is pleased to have already played the hosts once in this tournament – albeit in a Super Eight defeat in Pallekele.
“We know what to expect, the atmosphere, the noise. It’s going to be a thriller, up against world-class players. It’s going to be good fun. We’re happy to be in the final, but we want to win it.
Gayle had little of the strike, especially early in his innings, but it made little difference as others helped to force the pace.
“It was a slow start, and I didn’t get much strike.
“But I didn’t panic, or lose focus. Then the guys came in and hit some boundaries, and took some pressure off me. We were looking to get 150-160. So to get 40 runs extra was a bonus, and we’re very thankful for that.”
Australia captain Bailey gave credit to the opposition, and Gayle in particular. “Chris Gayle can do that to you,” he said. “I thought we bowled okay, but we just needed to take wickets.
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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