Australia v West Indies, 2nd semi-final, World Twenty20, Colombo October 4, 2012

Expectations raised for both teams


Match facts

October 5, 2012
Start time 1900 (1330 GMT)

Big Picture

When Australia and West Indies met earlier in this World Twenty20, the match was set up for a fascinating finish when rain intervened. The Australians had struggled to contain Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels and West Indies had powered to 191 - easily the highest total Australia have conceded in the tournament. The chase was tantalisingly poised at 100 for 1 in the tenth over when the rain came. Nearly two weeks later, the stakes are considerably higher. That encounter should serve as a warning to both sides. It reminded Australia that if they don't get Gayle cheaply they will find themselves under the kind of pressure that could be tournament-ending. And it showed West Indies that runs on the board are of no value unless your bowlers are up to the job - especially when Shane Watson is around.

But as much as lessons can be learnt from that match, the expectations on each of the sides have changed significantly since then. Australia entered the tournament without being rated a serious threat by many observers, but they and Pakistan have been the stand-out sides. West Indies flew in to Sri Lanka expected to have their best chance of a global trophy in quite some time, yet remarkably they have scraped through to the semi-finals by winning only one match in the conventional way - they have also had a tie that turned into a victory via the Super Over, a wash-out and a pair of losses. They need this to be the match when they really kick into gear.

It is worth noting that the toss is likely to be irrelevant in this encounter. Australia prefer to chase and have done so in every match of this World T20. West Indies like to bat first, and not since June 2011 have they chased a target - the only time they were to bat second in that time was against Ireland earlier in this tournament, when rain prevented a second innings.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
Australia LWWWW
West Indies WLWLW

Watch out for

All the attention has been on Shane Watson but Michael Hussey has been quietly racking up the runs at No. 3. His work against Pakistan was outstanding, when under pressure he did enough to get the Australians past the mark at which they qualified for the semi-finals, even if victory was too tall a task. His experience and coolness at the crease will be just what the Australians need at the business end of this tournament - his 60 from 24 balls against Pakistan in the semi-final of the 2010 World T20 is evidence of that. The captain George Bailey summed Hussey up thus: "You might not be feeling like he's hurting you but suddenly you look up at the scoreboard and he has just ticked along. More importantly, it seems whenever he's batting, the partnership motors along."

Who else but Chris Gayle? West Indies have other players who can be destructive, but he is the one man Australia know can turf them out of the tournament on his own. He struck 54 against them in the group stage and although he has not produced an enormous innings yet in this World T20, he has threatened to do so. "He is the one guy who makes you panic a lot more because he takes you on," Australia's coach Mickey Arthur said. "The longer he bats, the more he becomes tougher to bowl at ... It becomes tough when you're executing under that much pressure to a guy like Chris Gayle because if you miss your area by that much, he scores, but I'm confident we have the artillery to keep that in check."

Team news

Australia will consider bringing the T20 veteran David Hussey in and the likely candidate to miss out would be Glenn Maxwell. However, that is far from certain and would almost certainly be the only change.

Australia (probable) 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Michael Hussey, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Cameron White, 6 Glenn Maxwell/David Hussey, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Brad Hogg, 11 Xavier Doherty

West Indies are likely to again choose the twin spin options of Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree on the wearing Premadasa pitch. It seems unlikely that any of Fidel Edwards, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons or Dwayne Smith will be able to force their way in.

West Indies (probable) 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Dwayne Bravo, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Samuel Badree, 11 Ravi Rampaul.

Stats and trivia

  • This is the second time West Indies have reached the World T20 semi-finals; in 2009 they lost to Sri Lanka when Gayle scored 63 but nobody else in the side reached double figures
  • Shane Watson is the leading wicket taker and run scorer in the tournament


"Their batting is no doubt their strength. If you can knock [Gayle] over early it really does put pressure on the rest of their batsmen to step up."
George Bailey

"We like to play against them. We had a good series against them in the Caribbean in the T20s and the ODIs...we know they're a good side, but no one in our team fears them."
Toby Radford, the West Indies' assistant coach.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nicholas on October 5, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    @Sukavana Rajan (post on October 05 2012, 12:48 PM GMT): how's that confidence now then!? Bad luck... it's a frustrating game this cricket, isn't it!

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    I am confident that Australia are going to win this tournament.

  • Deepak on October 5, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    You guys keep talking about Aussies winning and a few about a WI win. Why not discuss strategy instead? Whoever wins the toss, should BAT first. That is the way the PD pitch has turned out to prove over the latest several matches... (read) Ind v SA, Pak v AUS, and more recently SL v PAK.

  • Kunal on October 5, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Australia better lose today else our LIONS will humiliate you on Sunday! We are the Lankan lions and we always ROAR!!! .... MEEOOWW!!

  • David on October 5, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    @Rogerunionjack No nightmares. I just remember the supreme dominance Australia has shown in the past twenty years and the fact they are the only team (obviously) to have a superior win loss ratio over EVERY OTHER nation in both Tests and One day games and by some margin. Of course if I had constantly been sniping at the opposition teams and their players and my team had been knocked out and the very team I had been mercilessly slagging was starting to look like it might win the cup THEN it would be a case of my worst dreams being fulfilled!

  • Nandaka on October 5, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    @mathewjohn2176 ; Well, Mahela didn't say anything coz he wasn't the captain at that time. Sanga was. I am not going to take anything away from your awesome victory or anything. All I'm saying, you won, we lost. but we took the loss like real sportsmen and fans. Its you (from captain to fan) who dwell about your defeats and making silly excuses. Did you see the Watson's face when Dhoni talked about 7 mins rain. He (Watson) crushed the pride of Indian Cricket by one LIL SMIRK. Once upon a time we knew great cricketers like Dravid (one of my fav.), Kapil Dev and so on. But now you've got a money & fame loving, arrogant XI who can hit the ball. May be you don't quite see it.We do. But I don't blame ya..

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    its going to be WI... we want to see malinga vs gayle...

  • James on October 5, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Good luck to both teams - I think this one's really too close to call, it depends on which WI turn up on the day. Also Sammy MUST bowl first. As an Englishman I usually cheer (tongue-in-cheek) for 'anyone but Australia' but I've been impressed by them this tournament especially Watson and an excellent performance by Doherty. A Windies shot at the final will be fantastic for the broader game.

  • Gaurav on October 5, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    I am an indian and supporting d best team. Go AUS Go.

  • Gaurav on October 5, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    It seems like some people cheering WI because they all hate AUS but i will say in this WC , Australia is d only team which is dominant to win this tournament.And yeah I am an Iandian but supporting Aus because they deserve to win thi wc. Go Aus Go.

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