Sammy pulls off West Indies’ best chase

Saturday, 29 March 2014 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: 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 Two match of the World Twenty20 on Friday. 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 celebration from his team mates 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 the Australians 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. w 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. Chief Score: West Indies 179-4 in 19.4 overs (Chris Gayle 53, Darren Sammy 34 not out; Mitchell Starc 2-50) v Australia 178-8 in 20 overs (Glenn Maxwell 45, Brad Hodge 35; Sunil Narine 2-19, Marlon Samuels 2-20, Samuel Badree 2-37).