Gayle powers West Indies past Australia, into T20 World Cup final
Colombo, Sri Lanka (4E Sports) – Led by Chris Gayle’s unbeaten 75, West Indies secured a place in the final of the Twenty20 World Cup against Sri Lanka after completing a 74-run victory over Australia Saturday at R Premadasa Stadium.
West Indies will try to end its title drought since winning the ICC Champions Trophy in 2004 when it takes on the Sri Lankans Sunday in the championship match.
Sri Lanka defeated West Indies by nine wickets during their first encounter in the tournament.
West Indies limited the Aussies to just 131 while Gayle smashed 75 runs from just 41 balls which included five boundaries and six sixes to give his team a total of 205-4.
“We did bring our A game,” West Indies Captain Darren Sammy said. “We knew we needed that to beat Australia. It’s a good feeling to beat Australia.”
Dwayne Bravo (37) and Marlon Samuels (26) effectively backed up Gayle after the early loss of Johnson Charles (10), who was caught by Matthew Wade off the bowling of Mitchell Starc (1-32) in the 3rd over.
In the 8th, the Australians posted just 43-6 against the impressive bowling of Ravi Rampaul (3-16) and Samuel Badree (2-27).
Australian captain George Bailey tried to help his team overcome the West Indies’ attack with a 63 from just 29 balls but his efforts weren’t enough as the team’s top order was already in the dugout.
After a slow start, during the power play overs, West Indies slowly took control of the match as Gayle and Samuel picked off Xavier Doherty (1-48) and David Hussey (0-22) with ease.
“We were outplayed,” Bailey said. “Full credit to West Indies. They deserve to be playing in the final, that’s for sure.”
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka became the first ever host to seal a place in the final after secured a tense 16-run victory over Pakistan.
The Pakistanis needed 140 to advance but Sri Lanka restricted them to just 123-7 to seal a title clash with West Indies.
Rangana Herath (3-25) and Angelo Matthews (2-27) led the way for the Sri Lankans, who scored a total of 139-4.
Jayawardene smashed seven boundaries during his 36-ball innings before he was dismissed by Shahid Afridi (1-28) in the 11th over to end his 63-run opening stand with Tillakaratne Dilshan.