West Indies crush Australia to reach T20 final
Story Dated: Saturday, October 6, 2012 9:10 hrs IST
West Indies’s Chris Gayle, right, Darren Sammy, left Andre Russell, second left and Kieron Pollard, third left, dance with others after West Indies beat Australia during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup semifinal match in Colombo. AP
Colombo: Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard lit up the second semi-final with scintillating power-hitting as West Indies crushed Australia by 74 runs on Friday 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 Sunday'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.