Colombo: Australia captain George Bailey warned Sri Lanka to get Chris Gayle out cheaply in the World Twenty20 decider or face defeat after the West Indian's remorseless power-hitting dominated Friday's semi-final.
Bailey acknowledged Australia were left "helpless" as Gayle smashed six sixes on his way to an unbeaten 75 as West Indies totted up 204-5, their best ever score. Australia fell for 131 all out in reply.
"Were we helpless? Probably Chris Gayle can do that to you. When he did go, he went beautifully," Bailey said. "In hindsight you can do things differently, but the fact is that we just got outplayed.
"There are no excuses. The best team absolutely won the game tonight. There is a gap between your best and worst cricket, and we did not play good cricket at all.
"Anything can happen in this game. You can bowl full tosses and get hit down mid-wicket's throat, or the good ball will go for a six."
Gayle was not the only contributor as Marlon Samuels made 26, Dwayne Bravo swatted 37 and Kieron Pollard hit 38 off 15 balls. But Bailey said once Australia failed to dismiss Gayle early, they knew they were in danger.
"The plan always was to get Chris out early. His record speaks for itself, so the key is to get him out early," he said.
Asked who will be his favourites to win Sunday's final, Bailey said: "If Sri Lanka can get Gayle out for under 20, they will win. But if they don't, the West Indies will prove too strong.
"With the West Indies attack, you can chase down 160. I am sitting on the fence a bit. But the two best teams got into the final."