By Amlan Chakraborty
MIRPUR, Bangladesh (Reuters) - West Indies captain Darren Sammy smashed back-to-back sixes to seal a thrilling six-wicket victory over Australia in an emotionally-charged World Twenty20 Group Two match on Friday.
James Faulkner had added spice to the contest after Australian media quoted him as saying he does not particularly like the West Indies team and the all-rounder was asked to bowl the final over with 12 runs needed off it.
Sammy, who took 17 runs off the previous over to drag West Indies back into the match, could not score off the first two balls but hit the next two for six to seal victory with two balls to spare and trigger wild celebration from his team mates who rushed on to the pitch.
"As I said before the match, talk is cheap," Sammy, adjudged man-of-the-match for his 13-ball 34 not out, told reporters.
"Cricket is a game of action and you could talk all you want but it's action that happens on the field that matters.
"No doubt the win will definitely hurt them, I guess Faulkner would not like us anymore," he quipped.
Their second win in three matches consolidated West Indies' position in Group Two but Australia's semi-final hopes look bleak after back-to-back defeats.
Glenn Maxwell (45) and Brad Hodge (35) helped Australia overcome a top-order collapse to post a competitive 178 for eight after opting to bat first at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Australia lost Aaron Finch, David Warner and Shane Watson in successive overs to slump to 41 for three in the sixth over before Maxwell played in trademark fashion, welcoming Sammy into the attack with two fours and a six.
Samuel Badree dismissed Maxwell in the 12th to cut short his busy 22-ball innings and Hodge chipped in with a 26-ball cameo to help Australia pass the 175-run mark.
In reply, Dwayne Smith fell after adding 50 runs for the opening stand but his partner Chris Gayle (53) continued punishing the Australians.
When Gayle was on 26, Brad Haddin squandered a stumping opportunity off Maxwell, who eventually took a catch in the deep to remove the batsman before erupting into an animated celebration.
Dwayne Bravo (27) and Sammy produced a few lusty blows to take West Indies home before tossing their bats and breaking into wild celebration in front of their crestfallen opponents.
"I'd imagine it makes it pretty difficult," Australia captain George Bailey said of his team's mathematical chances of reaching the last four stage of the only major tournament Australia have never won.
"We lost two close games in a tournament where we cannot afford to lose two close games."
Bailey denied there was any non-cricketing reason to ask Faulkner bowl the last over.
"Just pure death (bowling) skills," Bailey said.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
- Sports & Recreation
- James Faulkner
- Glenn Maxwell