Chris Gayle smashed an unbeaten 75 off 41 balls as West Indies stormed into the World Twenty20 final with a record 74-run demolition of Australia in Colombo on Friday.
Moments later he had a little message for their opponents in Sunday’s final — Sri Lanka. “This World Cup is definitely ours. Sorry Sri Lanka, but I think it’s our World Cup. The support will be more for West Indies on Sunday.
We love Sri Lanka, but sorry, it is going to be West Indies all the way. The final will be a good final but We will on top, definitely,” said the left-hander, who pounded six sixes and five fours as the Windies piled up the tournament’s highest total of 205-4 after electing to bat on what was regarded as a slow pitch unsuited to aggressive batting.
The Australians found the huge target too hot to handle and folded up for 131 in 16.4 overs at the R Premadasa Stadium in front of 28,000 awe-struck spectators still reeling from the West Indies innings.
Skipper George Bailey played a lone hand for the Aussies, making 63 off 29 balls with four sixes and six boundaries after adding 68 for the seventh wicket with Pat Cummins.
Both Darren Sammy’s men as well as Mahela Jayawardene’s team will be looking for their first World Twenty20 title when they clash in the final on Sunday.
“To be honest it was a slow track, but it was important not to panic. I waited for the bad balls and when they came in my slot, I hit them,” said Gayle.
Bailey admitted Australia were outplayed and the West Indies deserved to be in the final. “Were we helpless? Probably Chris Gayle can do that to you. But the fact is that we just got outplayed,” the Australian captain said.
Gayle, who lost his opening partner Johnson Charles in the third over, plodded for nine balls to make four before swinging Shane Watson for a six over long-off.
That opened the floodgates as Marlon Samuels and Gayle smashed left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty for a six each in one over and Brad Hogg was greeted into the attack with another six from Samuels, who contributed 26 in a second-wicket stand of 41 with Gayle before being bowled by Cummins.
Gayle then brought up his half-century off 29 deliveries with the help of four sixes and three boundaries. All-rounder Dwayne Bravo (37), followed by Kieron Pollard (38 off 15) then saw WI cross 200.
West Indies: 205-4 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 75 not out, Kieron Pollard 38; Pat Cummins 2/36) beat
Australia: 131 all out in 16.4 overs (George Bailey 63; Ravi Rampaul 3/16) by 74 runs