Kieron Pollard led by example with a battling 44 off 31 deliveries, outshining veterans Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle, but the West Indies captain still finished on the losing side as the defending champions tasted their fourth ICC T20 World Cup defeat in Abu Dhabi today (6 November).
The 34-year-old Trinidad all rounder was delighted that team-mates Evin Lewis (29), Shimron Hatmayer (27) and Andre Russell’s unbeaten 18 off seven balls held the innings together with a creditable 157-7 against Australia inside the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
But his bowlers failed miserably as Australia breezed to a eight wicket win to reach 161-2 off 16.2 overs, leaving the Caribbean side humiliated yet again in this prestigious competition.
Yet with the Australians chasing a semi-final berth they set to their task to send Gayle, regarded as one of the greatest batsmen to have played T20 cricket and the leading run scorer for the West Indies in T20I’s, back to the pavilion for 15 after Pat Cummins clean bowled the Jamaican 42-year-old.
Players came and went cheaply with Bravo dismissed for ten in his last ever international, as the holders stuttered to 126-6 off 17.3 overs. However, Russell’s explosive knock and Pollard’s quickfire score helped the Windies register a decent total, amassing 58 runs from their final five overs.
In response Akeal Hosein captured skipper Aaron Finch for nine in the fourth over, but then Australia hit cruise control against below par bowling displays with David Warner (89no) and Mitchell Marsh (53) piling on the runs to level the scores.
But then Marsh was caught by former captain Jason Holder off Gayle, and Glenn Maxwell arrived at the crease before Warner hit a boundary to secure victory with more than three overs to spare.
It was probably the last international appearance from Gayle, who failed miserably with the bat in all five matches. And it was certainly the end of an era for Bravo, the 38-year-old all rounder, who used social media to announce his retirement from internationals after the Sri Lanka defeat,
The Trinidad veteran played in 91 T20s for the Windies since making his debut in New Zealand 15 years ago scored over a thousand runs and picked up 78 wickets with his medium fast bowling.
Bravo told ICC’s post-match show on Facebook: “I’ve had a very good career and I’m very grateful to represent the region and the Caribbean people for so long.
“It was not the World Cup we expected and wanted as players. But we should not feel sorry for ourselves as it was a tough competition, we should keep our heads high.”
But Bravo had a below par tournament in the United Arab Emirates, scoring just 26 runs in five group games and only collecting two wickets.
There will surely be some big questions asked in the Caribbean with an in-depth post-mortem required as to exactly what went wrong at this World Cup.
With the creaky-looking West Indies having only got the better of Bangladesh – a last ball narrow success – and suffered defeats to England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Australia in their group games then the urgent changing of personnel is necessary before in-form England arrive for January’s five-match T20I series in Barbados.
Australia beat West Indies beat by 9 wickets
WI 142-7 (20 overs)
Australia 161-2 (16.2 overs)
6 November | Sri Lanka beat West Indies beat by 20 runs
Sri Lanka 189-3 (20 overs)
WI 169-8 (20 overs)
29 October | WI beat Bangladesh by three runs
WI 142-7 (20 overs)
Bangladesh 139-5 (20 overs)
26 October | South Africa beat WI by eight wickets
WI 143-8 (20 overs)
SA 144-2 (18.2 overs)
23 October | England beat WI by six wickets
WI 55 all out (14.2 overs)
England 56-4 (8.2 overs)
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