Watson smashes Australia to simple victory in rain-hit clash with West Indies
17:47 GMT, 22 September 2012
Australia secured their place in the Super Eight stage of the World Twenty20 with a 17-run Duckworth/Lewis victory over West Indies after rain curtailed play in Colombo.
A heavy downpour interrupted the Australians' charge towards their 193 target when they were 100 for one – 17 runs ahead of the Duckworth/Lewis par score after 9.1 overs.
All-rounder Shane Watson – man of the match in Australia's opening Group B triumph over Ireland on Wednesday – was once again in full flow, unbeaten on 41 from 24 deliveries alongside Michael Hussey (28 off 19) when the heavens opened.
I've got the power: Shane Watson hits for six at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo
All-round excellence: Watson, who took two wickets and hit 41 runs, bowls to Samuels
The Windies earlier posted 192 for
eight from their 20 overs after captain Darren Sammy won the toss and
stuck with his team's preferred tactics in this format, opting to bat
first – their total underpinned by half-centuries from Chris Gayle and
Opener Gayle smashed 54 off 33 balls –
including five fours and four sixes – before a soft dismissal, caught
and bowled by Watson, while Samuels plundered three fours and four sixes
in reaching 50 off 32. He holed out to David Warner at long-on off the
bowling of veteran spinner Brad Hogg.
Paceman Mitchell Starc (three for 35)
and all-rounder Watson (two for 29) were the pick of the Australia
bowlers, the former having been passed fit after recovering from
gastroenteritis. Pat Cummins, Daniel Christian and Hogg also claimed a
Big hitter: Chris Gayle drives to the boundary during his innings of 54 against Australia
Crash, bang, wallop: Marlon Samuels hits out on his way to a half-century for West Indies
Australia suffered an early setback in
their response when Warner – much to his displeasure – was given out
caught behind by Denesh Ramdin off Fidel Edwards with the first ball of
the third over, but not before the opener had racked up 28 from 14
However, they continued at a decent
pace as Watson and Hussey set about reducing the 9.65 required run-rate
which ultimately proved crucial.
The result left West Indies facing a
winner-takes-all clash with Ireland on Monday to determine who will join
Australia in the Super Eights.
Timber! Dwayne Smith of the West Indies is bowled by Mitchell Starc (unseen), who took thee wickets