Hazlewood, Warner extend West Indies World T20 misery

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Australia closed in on a semi-final place at the Men’s T20 World Cup with an eight-wicket trashing of already eliminated West Indies in Abu Dhabi.

David Warner hit an unbeaten 89 off 56 balls and Mitch Marsh 53 as Australia chased 158 with 22 deliveries to spare. Earlier, West Indies posted 157-7, captain Kieron Pollard scoring 44 and Josh Hazlewood taking 4-39.

Australia can still be eliminated if South Africa record a large victory over England in the other game  on Saturday.

West Indies’ Chris Gayle raises his bat as he is being greeted by his teammates after his dismissal during the ICC mens Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and West Indies at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on November 6, 2021. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP)

Defending champions limp out

Saturday might be the last we see of Chris Gayle in international cricket. He treated the crowd to two sixes before being bowled by Pat Cummins for 15.

The 42-year-old has struggled in the World Cup, scoring 55 runs in five innings, and now has one half-century in his last 31 Twenty20 international innings.

He walked off with his bat and helmet raised to the crowd and was embraced by his team-mates on the boundary.

Gayle returned with multiple parts of his kits and was signing items and handing them to the crowd in the clearest sign yet that he will call time on a glistening career that has brought him almost 20,000 international runs.

West Indies, abject with the bat in this tournament, produced a much improved performance against Australia, taking 50 off the six-over powerplay and 58 in the final five overs.

Dwayne Bravo of West Indies makes their way through a guard of honour following the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match between Australia and Windies at Sheikh Zayed stadium on November 06, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

However, there were also 49 dot balls, and the fact Andre Russell faced only seven deliveries for his unbeaten 23 – including sixes off the last two balls of the innings – raised questions over their approach and batting order.

West Indies were sloppy in the field and the match had come to resemble a friendly long before the smiling Gayle was afforded a ceremonial over of off-spin in which he had Marsh taken at mid-off, then ran to give him a hug as he left the field.

Dwayne Bravo, the most successful bowler in T20 history, made 10 and took 0-36 in his final game for West Indies.

By finishing fifth in Group One, defending champions West Indies must now qualify for next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Warner’s resurgence continues

Warner came into the tournament with a cloud hanging over him after being dropped by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.

This was his second half-century in the World Cup and was an ominous sign for England before this winter’s Ashes series in Australia.

Warner latched on to anything short, cutting and pulling with disdain in an innings containing nine fours and four sixes.

He was ably supported by Marsh, who struck five fours and two sixes before falling to Gayle with the scores level. (BBC Sport)

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