Gayle Blasts West Indies Into First ICC WT20 Final

Gayle Blasts West Indies Into First ICC WT20 Final
Gayle Blasts West Indies Into First ICC WT20 Final
©REUTERS / Action Images

West Indies 205-4 (Gayle 75no, Pollard 38) beat
Australia 131 (Bailey 63) by 74 runs
ICC World Twenty20 2012 semi-final
Report by Chetan Narula in Colombo

West Indies thumped Australia by 74 runs at the R. Premadasa Stadium to enter the ICC World Twenty20 2012 final in ruthless fashion.

On Sunday, in Colombo, they will take on hosts Sri Lanka - who beat Pakistan on Thursday night - in the battle for the silverware.

West Indies won the toss and elected to bat first, and it seemed a good decision as the pitch being used was a better one than the first semi-final. Johnson Charles (10) was first out in the third over, Mitchell Starc doing the trick.

That was as good as it got for the Aussies as Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels (26) played themselves in patiently. The big-hitting started soon and it didn’t stop all innings.

They put on 41 runs for the second wicket and in the eighth over, Samuels was bowled by Pat Cummins. He scored his runs off 20 balls with two fours and two sixes. Then came the big partnership of the innings, what Australia were wary of.

Dwayne Bravo and Gayle put on 83 runs for the third wicket. Bravo was the more aggressive of the two in this partnership, smacking 37 off 31 balls, with one four and three sixes. He was out to Cummins, who finished with two for 36, in the 16th over. The score at that time was 140 for three.

However if Australia expected to relax after this, they were mistaken. Kieron Pollard came to the crease and started blasting everything out of sight. He smacked three sixes in Xavier Doherty’s last over – also the 20th over of the innings – along with three boundaries, scoring 38 off only 15 balls.

Yet the real death blows came from Gayle who had been quietly biding his time. He went on the charge and scored 75 off only 41 balls, inclusive of five fours and six massive sixes, remaining unbeaten at the end.

In all, the duo put on 65 runs in only 25 balls, breaking the camel’s proverbial back. West Indies finished with 205 for four in their allotted overs, with half a foot already in the final.

Chasing 206, Australia got off to a bad start as David Warner mouthed off to the Windies fielders while walking to the crease. It became a poor start as he was bowled by Samuel Badree in the first over for just one run.

Even Shane Watson (7) and Michael Hussey (18) couldn’t save them on the night, failures for both of them meaning Australia were already out of the chase in the fifth over, with the score reading 29 for three. Cameron White (5), David Hussey (0) and Mathew Wade (1) also didn’t stay long as the Aussies plummeted to a shameful defeat.

At 43 for six, humiliation seemed likely, but skipper George Bailey saved face with a timely knock of 63 runs. He faced 29 balls in all, inclusive of six fours and four sixes, but just couldn’t steer his side towards recovery. Only two other batsmen, Mike Hussey and Pat Cummins (13) had gotten into double figures.

Ravi Rampaul finished with the best figures of three for 16. Badree (two for 27), Sunil Narine (two for 17) and Pollard (two for six) helped him finish the job. Australia were finally bowled out in the 17th over, for 131 runs, as the Windies cantered home in Gangnam-style.

© Cricket World 2012

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