Colombo: David Warner and Shane Watson blasted Australia to a rain-affected 17-run win over West Indies in the World Twenty20 on Saturday. With the win, Australia advanced to the Super Eights, and the second team to advance from Group B will be decided when West Indies and Ireland meet on Monday.
West Indies totalled a formidable 191 for 8 thanks to aggressive half-centuries from Chris Gayle (54) and Marlon Samuels (50), but Warner launched Australia's brilliant reply with 28 off 14 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes.
He was the only Australian wicket to fall, caught behind off fast bowler Fidel Edwards at 30 for 1 after 13 balls. Watson continued the challenge with an unbeaten 41 off 24 balls, including three sixes and two boundaries following his two-wicket bowling spell, and Mike Hussey had 28 off 19 before the match was stopped after 9.1 overs because of a downpour that didn't let up.
Australia, at 100 for 1, were 17 runs ahead of the 83 par score on the Duckworth/Lewis method. Watson was named Player of the Match for his contribution with bat and ball.
Earlier, Gayle and Samuels hit four sixes each in smashing half-centuries to propel West Indies to what appeared to be a winning total.
Gayle, dropped on 4, also hit five boundaries in an entertaining 54 off 33 balls while Samuels made a 32-ball 50, including three boundaries, to treat a capacity crowd at the R Premadasa Stadium.
Gayle started cautiously and struggled to middle the ball. He was dropped at third man by Watson off seamer Mitchell Starc. But he found his form in the fifth over bowled by Starc, uncorking three boundaries and a six, and continued to dominate until he was caught and bowled by Watson at 93 for 3 in the 11th over.
Gayle shared 39 runs with Johnson Charles and 46 with Samuels to redeem West Indies after they lost opener Dwayne Smith at 8. Samuels was out caught by Warner off spin bowler Brad Hogg to make it 140 for 4 in the 16th over.
Fast bowler Starc returned the best figures for Australia with 3 for 35. Watson took 2 for 29.