Gayle blows away Aussies

Australia 169-7 West Indies 172-3 (West Indies win by seven wickets)

Australia have been humiliated too. Yesterday they experienced the full force of Chris Gayle as the West Indies blasted their way to a seven-wicket win in only 15.5 overs. As England know, when this happens there is not much anyone can do about it, but the implications are highly significant. After England's defeat on Friday, both Ashes teams are now in grave danger of failing to qualify for the Super-8 stage of the World Twenty20 Cup.

Australia must now beat Sri Lanka tomorrow, and yesterday's performance has already exposed their fragility in this form of the game. Ricky Ponting, who admitted the performance was "a bit sloppy", also revealed they have contingency plans to spend two weeks in Leicester if they are knocked out early.

Gayle scored 88 runs in 50 balls with six fours and six sixes, and he feasted especially off the bowling of Brett Lee. It was exhilarating to watch Gayle drive him out of The Oval into the Harleyford Road before twice hitting him into the Bedser Stand. Gayle took 27 runs off that over. Lee has not suffered such an indignity since he last appeared at The Oval in 2005 and Kevin Pietersen handed out the punishment. Lee's four overs cost 56 runs and having Gayle caught at mid off by Shane Watson provided only light relief from his misery.

Ponting looked shell-shocked as the West Indies openers put on 133 for the first wicket in only 11.3 overs, though that would have been less impressive if Mike Hussey had caught Andre Fletcher when the score was only 40. None of the Australian bowlers suffered as Lee did, but none can take any satisfaction from this.

The wicket was good for batting, but the ferocity of the onslaught meant that whatever strategy they might have concocted was redundant. The West Indies had bowled six overs of spin for only 48 runs, proving that this is often a more effective way of controlling the run rate than speed. But Australia chose to leave out Nathan Hauritz.

It was a curiously passive display by Australia. They had displayed weakness in the short forms of the game against South Africa last winter and it was clear that little had changed when they lost their first two wickets with only three extras on the board, including Ponting for a duck, and their third when the score was 15.

Only David Warner, a recent discovery in limited-overs cricket, offered some resistance. His 63 off 53 balls was the prelude to a middle-order recovery by Brad Haddin, David and Michael Hussey that took the total to 169, which never looked sufficient.

The rain had finally relented at midday, leaving just enough time for Scotland to give New Zealand a fright in a match curtailed to seven overs a side. Batting first, the Scots rode some outrageous luck. Ryan Watson hit four boundaries in the first over and scored 27 of Scotland's first 30 runs in just 10 balls. Had they not lost three wickets in the last over, they would have set an even more testing target than 90.

New Zealand's Ian Butler, who took those wickets, confessed during the interval that he had never felt so nervous. He had no reason to. Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder player proper cricket shots and found the boundary even more regularly than the Scots. When they were gone, Ross Taylor hit two more sixes and New Zealand scored the necessary runs in only six overs, to win, as the West Indies were to do, by seven wickets.

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003