Colombo: Australian batsmen on Saturday gave a fitting reply to Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels’ power-hitting as they defeated the West Indies by 17 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method in the World T20 group league game, which stopped 9.1 overs into the second innings.
Chasing a daunting target of 192, the Aussie trio of David Warner, Shane Watson and Michael Hussey took the Caribbean attack to the cleaners, scoring 100 for one after 9.1 overs when the heavens opened up.
When rain stopped play, the D/L par score was 83 and Australia were well ahead courtesy some big hits by their top-order batsmen.
While Warner was out for 28, Watson was unbeaten on 41 off 24 balls with two fours and three sixes, while Hussey was undefeated on 28 from 19 balls with three boundaries and a six.
Watson bagged his second Man of the Match award for his all-round show as he also got the prize scalp of Gayle (54 off 33 balls), who along with Samuels (50 off 32), set the tone for West Indies’ mammoth total.
To achieve such a huge target, the Aussies needed a good start, and Warner provided the counter-attack.
The left-hander started with a lovely cover drive off Fidel Edwards and then got 20 off the second over bowled by Ravi Rampaul that included two fours and two huge sixes. One was an upper cut and the other was a pull over deep square leg region.
The stocky opener scored 28 in no time but Edwards had the last laugh when he got a caught behind decision in his favour, which left the batsman unhappy. The replays didn’t show any edge and the reason for Warner’s displeasure was well understood. Watson scored 28 in 13 balls with three fours and two sixes.