Gayle leads Windies into final

Chris Gayle led from the front as West Indies thumped Australia

Chris Gayle led from the front as West Indies thumped Australia

First published in National Sport News © by

Chris Gayle overpowered Australia in West Indies' mesmerising display of sustained hitting as they surged into Sunday's ICC World Twenty20 final against Sri Lanka.

Gayle (75no) and his muscular team-mates dispatched the best Australia could muster to all parts, and beyond, at the Premadasa Stadium to pile up 205 for four on a fine pitch.

It proved all too much for the Aussies, whose reply never got started and realised just 131 all out - despite George Bailey's blistering maiden Twenty20 international 50 from just 23 balls.

West Indies' innings was a six-fest. Gayle batted through, faced only 41 of the 120 balls - yet hit six of them for six, and five for four.

His stand with Kieron Pollard was especially brutal, as the pair climbed into Xavier Doherty's final over to carry the Windies' six tally to 14.

Johnson Charles went early, caught behind driving at Mitchell Starc, but Gayle and Marlon Samuels ensured a favourable powerplay of 46 for one.

The six count was a sparse three at that point, including the 200th of the tournament, but escalated as the entire Australian attack took some maximum punishment.

It was hard to see how Australia could challenge the target set, still less so after David Warner was unusually given out bowled after consultation with the third umpire.

Samuel Badree's googly shaved the off-stump and dislodged the bail, a point proven only on video replay.

Bailey (63) spared some blushes, as Andre Russell too conceded 25 runs in one over, but the captain's four sixes and six fours were a mere footnote because of the absence of frontline support.

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