x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Faulkner’s banter wakes up Sammy’s sleeping lions

West Indies beat Australia by six wickets at World Twenty20 group game.

Darren Sammy, left, and Chris Gayle, proved a point on Friday. Aijaz Rahi / AP Photo
Darren Sammy, left, and Chris Gayle, proved a point on Friday. Aijaz Rahi / AP Photo

DHAKA // Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, smashed an unbeaten 34 off 13 balls to lead his team to a last-over win and leave Australia precariously placed at the World Twenty20 in Dhaka on Friday.

The West Indies, chasing Australia’s challenging 178 for eight, appeared headed for defeat when they were 148 for four in 18 overs, still needing 31 runs from the last two overs.

But Sammy plundered 19 runs off paceman Mitchell Starc in the penultimate over and then hit two sixes in James Faulkner’s final over to seal a six-wicket win with two balls to spare.

It was the second win in three games for the defending champions in group two of the Super-10 stage.

Australia’s second successive loss meant they may not qualify for the semi-finals even if they beat India and Bangladesh in their remaining games.

Sammy and Dwayne Bravo (27 not out) put on a match-winning stand of 49 in 19 deliveries after opener Chris Gayle had hammered 53 off 35 balls at the start.

Faulkner, who had annoyed the West Indies players before the match by saying he did not like them, was at the receiving end of barbs by Gayle and Sammy after the match.

“When you come to shoot – shoot, Don’t TALK!!,” Gayle tweeted.

“We were pumped up for this game,” Sammy said. “It was really nice to see Faulkner bowling the last over. A lot of things were said before this match and you never wake up a sleeping lion.”

George Bailey, the Australia captain, said he had hoped for a bigger total by his team.

“I don’t think we batted particularly well,” he said. “We lost too many wickets in the middle. But the West Indies bowled really well. Sammy stuck to his plans. He hit it nice and hard.”

Gayle and Dwayne Smith put on 50 for the first wicket by the fifth over when Starc broke through by forcing Smith to edge a catch to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Gayle, who began with four consecutive boundaries off Starc, was dropped by Haddin off Glenn Maxwell when he was on 26.

The left-hander hit six fours and two sixes when he fell in the 13th over, pulling 20-year-old leg-spinner James Muirhead to Maxwell on the deep midwicket fence.

Lendl Simmons and Marlon Samuels also fell in quick succession, but Sammy and Bravo counter-attacked to post a memorable win for the West Indies.

Earlier, Australia survived a spin assault to compile what appeared a commanding total after electing to take first strike.

Six of the eight wickets fell to spinners, with Samuel Badree, Samuels and Sunil Narine claiming two wickets each.

Maxwell hit 45 off 22 balls at the top of the order, while Brad Hodge chipped in with a 26-ball 35 during a sixth-wicket stand of 52 with Faulkner.

Maxwell propelled the innings with a stunning knock that contained three sixes and five boundaries before he was fifth out in the 12th over with the total at 100.

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