Australia v West Indies T20 Semi-Final

Picture: AP/dawn.com
Sunile Narine will be vital for the West Indies against Australia. Picture: AP/dawn.com
The West Indies  will be out to avenge their 17 run defeat to Australia  earlier in the tournament when the sides meet again on Friday night, with a berth in the World Twenty20 Final on the line. Despite scoring 191 from their 20 overs against George Bailey’s side in the group stage, the West Indies attack was plundered by Australia’s batsman, conceding 100 runs from just nine overs to suffer a heavy loss under the Duckworth/Lewis method.

Shane Watson was the main protagonist in that fixture, belting an unbeaten 41 from just 24 balls to go with the two wickets that he collected with the ball. In fact the 31 year olds form has been so good that he has top scored  in four of his side’s five matches in the tournament and been Man of the Match  on four occasions as well. His partner at the top of the order, David Warner , has also been in good touch and the duo has recorded the highest opening partnership in the teams past seven Twenty20 Internationals.

The West Indies also boast considerable firepower at the top of the order, with master blaster Chris Gayle  leading the way with the bat. His innings of 54 runs in the group game against Australia included four big sixes and was followed up with an equally devastating half century against England. He and Marlon Samuels  have been the most prolific scorers for Darren Sammy’s side in the tournament and will be expected to propel the Windies to a maiden World Twenty20 Final appearance.

After seeing the Pakistani spinners run through Australia’s batting order in their most recent match, the West Indies will be sure to try the same tactics against the 2010 runner-up. While leg-spinner Samuel Badree  is unlikely to rip through the batting order, he will play an important role in applying pressure at one end for the other bowlers to capitalise on. His economy rate of 4.60 from 45 Twenty20 matches in the best in the history of the 20 over game. Sunil Narine  stood up when it mattered against New Zealand in his side’s most recent match with figures of 3/20 from his four overs. Although his two overs in the group stage against Australia went for 16 runs, he has done well against them in the past and will certainly be treated with respect.

Australia and the West Indies have met in eight Twenty20 Internationals, with the Aussies holding a 5-3 advantage, with all five victories coming from the past six clashes. Prior to the semi-finals, five of the eleven completed matches in Colombo during the tournament were won by the team batting first, while the chasing team was successful on six occasions.

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