Windies go down in opener as rain has final say

Colombo, Sri Lanka – West Indies batsmen brought the ICC World T20 to life with some breathtaking strokeplay, but the Windies came up on the losing end against Australia as rain brought their Group B match to an early finish on Saturday night.


West Indies captain Darren Sammy won the toss and their batsmen hit 15 fours and 11 sixes to set-up a challenging score of 191-8 off 20 overs, on a good pitch at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Australia responded well and were 100-1 off 9.1 overs when the rain arrived at 10 pm – with another 91 runs required for victory off 65 balls. The Aussies were declared winners by 17 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis Method.

Chris Gayle announced his intentions to dominate all bowlers in the tournament with some amazing shots all around the ground as he launched into the Australian attack. The powerful left-hander, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Friday, scorched a topscore of 54 off 33 balls to set up the innings. He smashed five fours and cleared the fence four times.

Marlon Samuels made a top-quality 50 off 32 balls to keep the momentum going after Gayle departed in the 11th over. Samuels showed his class with some sweetly-timed, authentic cricket strokes – none better than an extra-cover for six. These two knocks along with a cameo 27 from Dwayne Bravo enabled the Windies to set a stiff target of 9.56 runs per over.

Speaking after the match, skipper Darren Sammy said he was delighted with the batting effort after winning the toss, but felt they have work to do in the bowling department for the second match against Ireland on Monday night.

"I think rain played its part, otherwise it would have been a cracker of a game. The build-up was very exciting and I think both teams did deliver, but it was unfortunate that rain came when it did. We thought we were still in it. They still needed nine an over and they had to keep going. It’s unfortunate that weather played a part but that’s something we have to get over. We are now looking forward to the next game against Ireland," Sammy said.

"We back ourselves to set targets and I think we did that. We back ourselves to set targets and defend them. It’s good we achieved our first target with the bat, put lots of runs on the board. We came here to win the World Cup and that is still the plan. We lost here in the rain tonight but that will not put a damper on our plans. We need to win against Ireland and make sure we qualify for the Super Eights and take it from there."

The West Indies will have a training session at Colts Cricket Club on Sunday at 2 pm as they prepare to face Ireland on Monday at the R Premadasa Stadium. First ball is 7:30 pm (10 am Eastern Caribbean Time/9 am Jamaica Time).


First round matches

Saturday, Sept 22: Australia wion by 17 runs (D/L Method) at R Premadasa Stadium

Monday, Sept 24: vs Ireland – R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Super Eight matches

Thursday, Sept 27: C1 v D2 – Pallekele

Thursday, Sept 27: A1 v B2 – Pallekele

Friday, Sept 28: D1 v C2 – Colombo

Friday, Sept 28: B1 v A2 – Colombo

Saturday, Sept 29: A1 v D2 – Pallekele

Saturday, Sept 29: C1 v B2 – Pallekele

Sunday Sept 30: B1 v C2 – Colombo

Sunday Sept 30: D1 v A2 – Colombo

Monday, Oct 1: B2 v D2 – Pallekele

Monday, Oct 1: A1 v C1 – Pallekele

Tuesday, Oct 2: B1 v D1 – Colombo

Tuesday, Oct 2: A2 v C2 – Colombo


Thursday, October 4: Super 8 Group 1-1 vs Super 8 Group 2-2 – R Premadasa Stadium

Friday, October 5: Super 8 Group 2-1 vs Super 8 Group 1-2 – R Premadasa Stadium

Grand Final: Sunday, October 7 – R Premadasa Stadium