West Indies snatch thrilling win over Australia at Twenty20
Captain Darren Sammy struck two consecutive sixes in the last over off James Faulkner to finish off Australia and give defending champions West Indies a thrilling six-wicket win at the World Twenty20 cricket tournament on Friday.
Sammy whacked 34 off 13 balls and Dwayne Bravo took 27 off 12 as the West Indies reached 179-4 in 19.4 overs in reply to Australia’s 178-8.
The pair added 49 runs for the unbroken fifth-wicket stand to ensure opener Chris Gayle’s 53 did not go to waste as they all but knocked Australia out of contention for the semi-finals.
Sammy, taking strike with 12 needed off the last over, played two dot balls then smashed the two sixes over long-off and over the sightscreen to trigger a wild celebration.
Sammy and Bravo threw their bats in the air as Gayle led the team rush to join them in the centre, breaking into a jig.
“We’ve not won the tournament,” Sammy said after being named man of the match. “It’s just a game against Australia but we were pumped up for this.”
In the build-up, Faulkner said “I don’t particularly like” the West Indies, and Sammy said he was the only one who thought that way. West Indies also beat Australia in the 2012 semi-finals.
Gayle went for his shots early on. He smashed four consecutive fours off left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Starc in the second over. He struck two fours and a six off Doug Bollinger, and Glenn Maxwell went for three fours in the next over with Gayle hitting two of them.
Gayle, who was let off on 26 as Brad Haddin missed a stumping chance off Maxwell, was caught at deep mid-wicket off legspinner James Muirhead after completing his 11th half-century in T20s.
He struck six fours and two sixes, adding 50 for the first wicket with Dwayne Smith (17) and 51 for the second with Lendl Simons (26).
Earlier, Australia put up a fighting total despite losing wickets every time it seemed to be taking control, with spinners Sunil Narine, Marlon Samuels and Samuel Badree bagging two wickets each
Maxwell, who struck a 33-ball 74 against Pakistan, was out for 45 when he seemed set to inflate the total.