Australia beat West Indies in rain

The West Indies need to beat Ireland to progress to the Super 8 stage of the World T20 tournament after a downpour of rain at Colombo gave Australia victory on the Duckworth Lewis method as they were 18 runs ahead of par when the rain struck.

The match looked evenly poised until the rain interrupted the Group B encounter, with Australia 100-1 chasing a seemingly imposing total of 191-8 set by the West Indies although Shane Watson and Michael Hussey looked well set.

Earlier in the day, the West Indies’ big hitters launched an assault on the Australian attack with Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels starring with the bat. They started badly, Mitchell Stark ripping through the defences of Dwayne Smith in the second over but following the dismissal of Johnson Charles to Daniel Christian, Gayle and Samuels got the run rate flying.

Gayle punished Shane Watson for dropping him early on, smashing five fours and four sixes in his way to a quickfire 54 of 47 balls before chipping the ball straight back to a relieved Watson. Samuels picked up the baton, hitting 50 off 45 balls including four sixes as the West Indies posted an intimidating looking total.

Aided by some wayward bowling from Ravi Rampaul in particular, David Warner got Australia of to a flyer in their run chase, scoring 24 of 14 before being given out to the slightest of edges of Fidel Edwards. Television replays proved inconclusive and the left hander was left nonplussed with the decision. But with the workmanlike Hussey joining the belligerent Watson at the crease, Australia stayed ahead of the run rate, milking runs at will and posting the highest powerplay score of the tournament as the West Indies bowlers struggled to bowl to their field placings.

The end result meant that Australia were ahead of the required rate to book their place in the Super 8 stages and the West Indies face a must win match to join them.