Australia v West Indies World T20: Plays of the Game
Australia beat West Indies in their second World T20 2012 game to make it to the Super Eight stage of the competition. Here are the plays of the game.
Potential turning point of the game:
It was the fourth over of the match and Gayle had quietly got himself to five from nine balls. Then he tried to explode but an outside edge off Mitchell Starc went straight to Watson at third-man. He floored it.
Australia’s worst nightmare almost came true after that as Gayle hammered a 33-ball 52. He was one of those chief destroyers instrumental in propelling the West Indies to a potentially match-winning 191.
Real turning point of the game:
Watson offered Gayle a chance that he took full toll of. Then, the West Indies returned that with their best compliments.
Watson was at his fiery best, having hit Marlon Samuels for a four and a six before pulling a short ball straight to Dwayne Smith at mid-wicket. Smith never had it covered and popped it over the boundary. Clanger.
Australia were 1/81 at that stage and a wicket could have stalled the momentum given their middle-order woes. Instead, they played nine more balls in the game including that dropped catch and added 19 runs.
This mistake was almost the difference between winning and losing.
Stunning shot of the game:
In a game that saw West Indies slam 15 fours and 12 sixes and Australia reply with eight boundaries and six maximums, the one stroke that stands out for its sheer unexpectedness was Sunil Narine’s last-ball punch over extra-cover.
Mitchell Starc had blown a couple of batsmen away and was on a hat-trick. Narine, who averages in single digits in every form of international cricket, was the side’s number 10 batsman.
Given it was the last ball, defending in order to avoid the hat-trick wasn’t an option. Starc steamed in but erred in its length – bowled it shorter, when a searing yorker on the middle would have done the trick.
Narine gave room and spanked it over the extra-cover fielder for a four! It was a shot that would have made most top-order batsmen proud.
I-told-you-so-moment of the game:
Not really a moment but a collection of them. Watson and Porterfield had both spoken highly of the pitch at the R Premadasa Stadium at the end of the last game despite not too many runs coming on it. Today Watson stood vindicated by that call.
You cannot call a pitch where 291 runs gets scored in 29.1 overs as anything but a beauty, a term Watson had used to describe it last game.
When asked about the track at the end of this game, West Indies captain Sammy was equally unequivocal about calling it a “pretty flat deck”.
Blessing of the game:
We are six days into the tournament and it is still to be really lit up. The lack of crowds for all the games so far, has been at the core of the problem.
So for a game like this, with two neutral countries involved, it was surprising to have the stadium packed to the hilt.
Which is why, it was even worse that the game ended the way it did.
Non-cricketing moment of the game:
It came from a member of the audience who decided to have some fun in the rain.
After the players were called in and the covers were put on, this gentleman rushed out in the rain and dived right on the covers.
Having caught the crowd’s attention who roared in delight and encouraged him to continue, he rushed back and slid stomach down once again. More roars from the crowd!
The bemused security officials were too stunned to react for the first few seconds before escorting him out of the playing area and into some place unknown. Much to the disappointment of the fans.
Thankfully, neither Terry Alderman nor Andrew Symonds have taken up security as a part-time avocation.