Mirpur: A spectacular display of hitting by Chris Gayle and Darren Sammy guided West Indies to a final-over, six-wicket victory over Australia in the ICC World Twenty20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium here on Friday.
Gayle’s innings of 53 off 35 balls with six boundaries and two sixes was the perfect response to those who wondered why he hadn’t lived up to his explosive reputation in the defending champions’ first two matches of the tournament.
The home crowd that came to cheer the next match between Bangladesh and India shouted for Gayle and company — and they were rewarded with some incredible scenes. After Sammy hit the winning six off James Faulkner, who said in the build-up to the game that he didn’t like the West Indies team, the entire Caribbean squad, led by Gayle, ran on to the pitch jumping, dancing and shouting.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Australia posted 178 for eight. In reply, Gayle put on 50 with fellow opener Dwayne Smith (17) in just 4.6 overs and then added another 51 for the second wicket with Lendl Simmons (26).
Though wicketkeeper Brad Haddin pulled off a brilliant diving catch to dismiss Marlon Samuels off Mitchell Starc for 12, Dwayne Bravo and Sammy put on an unbeaten 49 to ensure victory with two balls to spare.
Needing 12 off the last over, Sammy hit the third and fourth balls for sixes to remain unbeaten on 34 off 13 with three sixes and two boundaries. Bravo remained unbeaten on 27 off 12 balls with two boundaries and two sixes.
Earlier, in the second over from leg-spinner Samuel Badree, Australia’s in-form opener Aaron Finch hit over long-on for a six and hit consecutive boundaries. David Warner also smashed two boundaries off Krishmar Santokie.
West Indies introduced Samuels in the fourth over and, with his fourth ball, he bowled Finch for 16 when the batsman missed with an attempted slog sweep.
In the next over, Badree bowled Warner for 20 with a skidder as he attempted to. An even bigger shock was to follow as Shane Watson was brilliantly stumped by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin for two.
Skipper George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell launched a counter-attack to gain the upper hand. Bailey hit Badree over mid-wicket for a six and Maxwell hit Sammy for a four, six and a four.
But Samuels ended Bailey’s innings by forcing him to play into the hands of Sammy at mid-wicket for 12.
Brad Hodge joined Maxwell, who continued to bat aggressively. He clattered sixes off Samuels and Badree, but the latter then forced him to hit into the hands of Dwayne Bravo at mid-wicket for 45.
Brad Hodge played some lovely shots and put on 52 with Faulkner before Sunil Narine clean bowled Hodge, who went for a reverse sweep and lost his leg stump for 35.
Faulkner was brilliantly caught by Bravo off Santokie for 12. Even though the ball popped out of Bravo’s hands, he dived and managed to hold on in the covers. Australia managed another 24 runs in the last two overs.
Meanwhile, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis and Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal were on Friday fined and suspended for one match each for maintaining slow over rates during their last World Twenty20 matches. They were both deemed to be one over short and, as the offences were their second in the last 12 months, the ICC imposed the bans.
England’s Stuart Broad was fined 40 per cent of his match fee after his team were two overs short against Sri Lanka.
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