World T20: Chris Gayle's fifty pushes Australia towards an early exit

Dhaka: West Indies captain Darren Sammy smashed an unbeaten 34 off 13 balls to virtually knock Australia out of the World Twenty20 with a dramatic last-over win in Dhaka yesterday.

Chris Gayle and WI captain Darren Sammy celebrate after beating Australia yesterday

The West Indies, chasing Australia’s challenging 178-8, appeared headed for defeat when they were 148-4 in 18 overs, still needing 31 runs from the last two overs. But Sammy plundered 19 runs off paceman Mitchell Starc in the penultimate over and then hit two sixes in James Faulkner's final over to seal a six-wicket win with two balls to spare.

It was the second win in three games for the defending champions in group two of the Super-10s. Australia’s second successive loss means they may not qualify for the semi-finals even if they beat India and Bangladesh in their remaining two matches.

Match-winning stand
Sammy and Dwayne Bravo (27 not out) put on a match-winning stand of 49 in 19 deliveries after opener Chris Gayle had hammered 53 off 35 balls at the start.

Faulkner, who had annoyed the West Indies players before the match by saying he did not like them, was at the receiving end of barbs by Gayle and Sammy after the match. “We were pumped up for this game. It was really nice to see Faulkner bowling the last over. A lot of things were said before this match and you never wake up a sleeping lion,” Sammy said. Australian captain George Bailey said: “I don’t think we batted particularly well. We lost too many wickets in the middle.”

Gayle and Dwayne Smith put on 50 for the first wicket by the fifth over when Starc broke through by forcing Smith to edge a catch to wicket-keeper Brad Haddin. Gayle, who began with four consecutive boundaries off Starc, was dropped by Haddin off Glenn Maxwell when he was on 26. The left-hander hit six fours and two sixes before he fell in the 13th over, pulling 20-year-old leg-spinner James Muirhead to Maxwell. Lendl Simmons and Marlon Samuels also fell in quick succession, but Sammy and Bravo counter-attacked to post a memorable win for the West Indies.

Brief scores
Australia: 178 for 8 in 20 overs (Glenn Maxwell 45, Brad Hodge 35; Sunil Narine 2/19) lost to
West Indies: 179 for 4 in 19.4 overs (Chris Gayle 53, Darren Sammy 34 not out; Mitchell Starc 2/50)

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