Colombo, Oct 5: In the end, it turned out to be a lopsided semi-final here on Friday night. West Indies destroyed Australia by 74 runs to reach their first ever final in ICC World Twenty20 2012 at the R Premadasa Stadium. It will be West Indies against Sri Lanka in the final at the same venue on Sunday from 7PM IST.
Once faced with a mountain of runs to scale down, it was always going to be tough for Australia. And they succumbed to pressure. The contest was as good as over within the eighth over when Australia had lost six wickets. Captain George Bailey made a counter-attacking half century but it was too late as he had only the tailenders for company. In the end, Australia were rolled over for 131 in 16.4 overs.
When Australia were 43/6 in 7.2 overs, West Indies were assured of final berth at the stage. The top order was blown away in the initial overs. Shane Watson, David Warner, Michael Hussey, Cameron White, David Hussey and Matthew Wade all failed on the big day. Formalities remained for the West Indies after sending those six batsmen back to the pavilion. Bailey played big shots as he completed his fifty in 23 balls but West Indies' win was never threatened by his assault. Chris Gayle won the Man-of-the-match award.
West Indies Innings Report
Chris Gayle (75 not out off 41 balls with six sixes) yet again dazzled with the willow to power West Indies to a commanding 205/4 in 20 overs against Australia. West Indies ransacked 25 runs off the final over bowled by Xavier Doherty which included four sixes.
It rained sixes at the Premadasa Stadium with Gayle leading the assault on Australian bowlers. One of Gayle's sixes travelled 105 metres, joint longest in the tournament with Marlon Samuels' hit earlier. Dwayne Bravo hit a 31-ball 37 with three sixes and one four. Kieron Pollard smashed 38 off 15 with three sixes. In all West Indies hit 14 sixes.
West Indies won the toss and opted to bat first against Australia.
Both teams made one change each. Australia brought in David Hussey for Glenn Maxwell while Darren Bravo was replaced by his brother Dwayne Bravo.
The winner of this game will meet Sri Lanka in the final on Sunday at the same venue. Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 16 runs on Thursday night in a low-scoring game.
These two teams were in the same pool (Group B) in the league phase. In that game, rain interrupted and Australia, while chasing, were ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis method and won.
Shane Watson heads both batting and bowling charts in this year's World T20. He will yet again be the key for them if they have to progress to a second straight WT20 final.
Australia, in the last edition, won all games till the final but surrendered to England. This trophy is the only one which they haven't secured. They are looking good this time but Gayle and his friends stand in the way in the penultimate hurdle.
If it is Watson at the top of the order for Australia, Chris Gayle is in same red-hot form as an opener for the Caribbean side. If Gayle gets going, no bowling attack in the world can stop him.
Australia: George Bailey (captain), Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Brad Hogg, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree, Johnson Charles, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels.
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Aleem Dar (Pakistan)
Third umpire: Richard Kettleborough (England)
Fourth umpire: Asad Rauf (Pakistan)
Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)
Match starts at 7.00 PM IST