COLOMBO: West Indies beat Australia by 74 runs in the second semi-final on Friday to book a place in Sunday’s final against hosts Sri Lanka.
Chris Gayle (75 not out) and Kieron Pollard (38) toyed with Australia’s bowling as West Indies posted a mammoth 205 for four before returning to bowl out Australia for 131 in 16.4 overs.
Gayle blasted six sixes and five boundaries in his 41-ball knock and Pollard (38 off 15 balls) hit three successive sixes in the final over of the innings to take West Indies past the 200-run mark.
Dwayne Bravo (37) also feasted on Australia’s bowling attack, hitting three sixes in his 31-ball knock, while Marlon Samuels chipped in with 26 runs.
Australian skipper George Bailey did put up a fight with a 29-ball 63, which was laced with six fours and four sixes but he was let down by the other batsmen, who returned to the pavilion without much to show.
Leg-break bowler Samuel Badree (2/27) removed openers David Warner (1) and Shane Watson (7) in his first three overs, while Marlon Samuels got rid of Mike Hussey (18) as Australia were tottering at 42 for three after the six overs of Powerplay ended.
Ravi Rampaul then removed Cameron White (5) and David Hussey (0) within a space of three deliveries to make it 42 for five.
On a strip where Gayle and Co made batting look easy, the Australians were all at sea. Both Watson and Warner tried to play shots which can’t be played when the ball keeps low while Mike Hussey was consumed by the slowness of the track.
David Hussey was rusty and others simply didn’t have it in them to put up a fight.
Earlier, Gayle hit five fours and half a dozen of towering sixes as West Indies made a mockery of Aussie attack.
Marlon Samuels with 26, Dwayne Bravo with a 31-ball-37 and last but not the least Kieron Pollard (38, 15 balls, 3×4, 3×6) also matched Gayle stroke for stroke to help West Indies cross the 200-mark.