cricket/T20-WC-2012/11179/" target="_blank">Match as it happened
Chris Gayle smashed a blistering unbeaten 75 as West Indies stormed into their maiden ICC World T20 final with a crushing 74-run victory over a listless Australia at the R Premadasa Stadium here today.
Opting to bat, Gayle literally butchered the Australian bowlers with a 41-ball 75-run innings as West Indies notched up 205 for four, which incidentally is the highest total of this edition.
The Caribbean team then returned to skittle out Australia for a paltry 131 with 3.2 overs to spare to set up a summit clash with Sri Lanka on Sunday.
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, 3x4, 3x6) also matched Gayle stroke for stroke to help West Indies cross the 200-mark.