The star performer of the West Indies, Chris Gayle, has warned Sri Lanka that his team, being in brilliant form, is just one match away from the coveted title.
The Caribbeans humiliated Australia by 74 runs in the 2nd semi final of the ICC World Twenty20 which was played at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, on Friday October 5, 2012.
Chris Gayle tore apart the bowling of the Kangaroos and all of them were unable to stop the invasion of the master blaster. Gayle is one of the finest stroke makers in the shortest version of the game today and his presence in the team means a lot. He has played 29 T20 internationals and plundered 658 runs at an excellent average of 39.04, the best of 117 with 10 fifties.
The 33-year-old is the second highest run getter in the ongoing competition by smashing 219 runs with a super average of 54.75, the best of unbeaten 75 with 3 fifties. Shane Watson (Australia) heads the table at the moment with 249 runs averaging 49.80, the best of 72 with 3 half centuries.
Gayle opened the innings with Johnson Charles in the semi final against the mighty Kangaroos and the latter went out cheaply for 10 runs. Marlon Samuels opted to go for a breezy innings and scored 26 off 20 balls assisted with 2 sixes and 2 fours. Gayle decided to take command after Dwayne Bravo joined with him and the run rate was enhanced instantly. Chris Gayle dispatched his 10th T20 fifty on 29 balls as Bravo lost his wicket for 37 runs when Kieron Pollard walked in the centre on the last ball of the 16th over.
The Windies had reached 3-140 in 15.5 overs when Gayle and Pollard murdered the rival bowlers. They thrashed 65 runs in the last 25 deliveries and it looked like a continuous rain of sixes and fours by the duo until the last ball of the innings was bowled. Gayle occupied his crease with an unbeaten 75 from 41 mere balls with 6 huge sixes and 5 fours. Kieron Pollard was gone on the last ball of the 20th over for 38 off just 15 deliveries with 3 lofty sixes and 3 fours as West Indies piled up 205 runs for the loss of four wickets.
Chris Gayle carried the bat after displaying a scintillating batting and described his innings by saying ,
“Initially I didn’t get many strikes. The key for me was to be there till the 20th over. Support from Marlon (Samuels) and (Dwayne) Bravo was good and finally (Kieron) Pollard gave us a winning total. I didn’t get strike but I didn’t panic, the key was to take it as it comes and be there till the end.”
The Australian batting was unable to deliver the required results under tremendous pressure against the quality bowling of the Windies. The skipper of the Kangaroos was the highest run scorer with 63 off 29 with 4 huge sixes and 6 fours. Eight of their batsmen were unable to enter the double figures and the whole team was bundled out for 131 runs in 16.4 overs. The Carribean bowling was led by Ravi Rampaul who grabbed 3-16 runs whereas Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard ended up with two wickets each. West Indies won the match comprehensively by a sufficient margin of 74 runs and stormed into the final as Gayle was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his majestic knock.
The Windies are in great nick after winning the important semi final against the Kangaroos and the entire team looks like a combined unit under the captaincy of Darren Sammy. Chris Gayle anticipates winning the final against Sri Lanka keeping in view both his own thundering form and the team. He said,
“World Cup is definitely ours, sorry Sri Lanka, but I think it is our World Cup. The support will be more for West Indies on Sunday. We love Sri Lanka, but sorry, it is going to be West Indies all the way. The final will be a good final but We will on top, definitely.”
The final of the ICC World Twenty 20 will be played on Sunday, October 7, 2012, at the same venue and that will be an interesting encounter between the two in-form teams.