Colombo, Oct 5 (IBNS) Riding on a destructive innings from Chris Gayle, West Indies beat Australia by 74 runs in the semi-final to set by a clash with Sri Lanka in Sunday's final of the World Twenty20.
It was a dominating performance by the Caribbean side as they made their maiden World Twenty20 final appearance. It will also be the West Indies´ first final appearance in any World Cup event in 29 years and in an International Cricket Council (ICC) event since 2006 Champions Trophy.
Opting to bat first, after skipper Darren Sammy opted to bat first, West Indies piled up a mammoth 205 for four in 20 overs.
Gayle struck an explosive 75 off 41 balls, hitting five fours and six sixes, and was well assisted by Pollard (38), Dwayne Bravo (37) and Marlon Samuels (26). Gayle was also adjudged as Man of the Match.
While chasing, Australia were reduced to 43 for six in the eighth over before being skittled out for 131 in 16.4 overs. Skipper George Bailey struck a valiant 29-ball 63 that was studded with six fours and four sixes, but it came too late.
Pacer Ravi Rampaul was the pick of the West Indies bowlers bagging three for 16 while Samuel Badree (2/27), Sunil Narine (2/17) and Kieron Pollard (2/6) shared six wickets.
West Indies lost opener Johnson Charles (10) early in the third over, but after that Gayle was involved in three crucial partnerships. it was a one-way traffic as it rained sixes, 14 overall.
With Samuels, Gayle added 41-run stand for the second wicket and with Bravo (37) shared an 83-run stand for the third wicket that took the West Indies to a position of strength of 140 for three by the 16th over.
In the last five overs, West Indies smashed 73 runs. Of the 73, 65 runs came off 25 deliveries during the fourth wicket stand between Gayle and Pollard.