West Indies skipper Darren Sammy hit two successive sixes to secure his team’s thrilling six-wicket victory over Australia in an emotionally charged Group 2 match of the World Twenty20 tournament yesterday.
Needing 12 runs off the final over, Sammy could not score off James Faulkner’s first two balls, but hit the next two for sixes to seal a win with two balls to spare and trigger wild celebrations from his teammates, who rushed onto the pitch.
Faulkner had added spice to the contest after Australian media quoted him as saying he does not particularly like the West Indies team.
Glenn Maxwell (45) and Brad Hodge (35) helped Australia overcome a top-order collapse and post a competitive 178 for eight wickets after opting to bat first at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
In reply, Dwayne Smith fell after adding 50 runs for the opening stand, but his partner Chris Gayle (53) continued punishing Australia.
Gayle hit Mitchell Starc for four successive boundaries, and hit Doug Bollinger and Shane Watson for sixes to race to a 31-ball fifty.
Brad Haddin squandered a stumping opportunity when Gayle was on 26 off Glenn Maxwell, who eventually took a catch in the deep to remove the batsman before erupting into an animated celebration.
Dwayne Bravo (27) and Sammy came up with some lusty blows to take West Indies home.
Earlier, Aaron Finch (16) hit Samuel Badree for a six and two fours in the spinner’s first over, while David Warner scored two boundaries off paceman Krishmar Santokie’s second before Marlon Samuels triggered a top-order collapse.
Samuels pegged back Finch’s off-stump with his fourth delivery, and Australia lost Warner and Watson in the next two overs to slump to 41 for three in the sixth over.
Maxwell played the way he is known for, welcoming Sammy into the attack with two fours and a six, but Badree dismissed him in the 12th to cut short his 22-ball stay.
Down the order, Hodge chipped in with a 26-ball cameo to help Australia cross the 175-mark.
West Indies top the group after their second win in three matches, while Australia’s semi-final hopes look bleak after their second successive defeat.
“We have not won the tournament, its just a game against Australia, but we were pumped up for this,” said Sammy, who was Man of the Match.
“They played well and a couple of our bowlers bowled well. We backed ourselves to score 180-odd. Chris and Smith set us up and we are really pumped up for the win,” he added.
“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 [Chris Gayle],” Sammy added.