Watson stars as Aussies beat West Indies

GREG BUCKLE
Last updated 07:18 23/09/2012
Shane Watson
Reuters
SHANE WATSON: The allrounder was named player of the tournament at the World T20.

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Shane Watson thought he had cost Australia the game but he simply strapped on his superman cape and did the job with bat and ball as Australia scored a crucial World Twenty20 win over West Indies on Saturday night.

West Indies won the toss in the Group B clash at Colombo's Premadasa Stadium and chose to bat, posting the massive total of 8-191 including half-centuries from Chris Gayle (54) and Marlon Samuels (50).

Watson, who grassed a difficult diving chance when Gayle was on four, later removed the master blaster caught and bowled and finished with 2-29.

Mitchell Starc claimed 3-35 but Australia's hopes appeared slim chasing such a big total.

However, savage early batting from David Warner (28), Watson (41 not out) and Mike Hussey (28 not out) did the job.

A downpour halted play about 10pm after Australia had raced to 1-100 from 9.1 overs, 17 runs ahead on the Duckworth/Lewis Method for rain-affected matches.

Play was called off half an hour later.

Watson was named man of the match for the second consecutive game.

Australia, after beating Group B rivals Ireland last Wednesday, will play three matches in the Super Eights stage, beginning against India on Friday.

Watson had his own slice of luck when he was dropped on 28, heaving a mighty blow to the leg-side boundary where Dwayne Smith dropped a head-high chance.

Watson said he had earlier worried about dropping Gayle for several overs until the left-hander was finally dismissed.

"I was certainly feeling that pain until I was able to get him out but in the mean time he had done a fair bit of damage and gave a lot of momentum to the West Indian side," Watson said.

"That was very disappointing but to be able to make up for it in some way with the bat especially, it never makes it feel any better but at least we were more chance of winning the game anyway."

Watson said he was thrilled to see Smith fail to take the catch and tipping the ball over the rope was a nice bonus.

"There are turning moments in a game," Watson said.

"My dropped catch of Chris Gayle certainly turned it towards the West Indies' favour.

"Unfortunately dropped catches can turn events. I was lucky it was my turn when I was batting."

Watson's big hitting was perfectly timed just before the downpour although he said his brisk scoring rate was simply based on trying to keep up with the run-rate required chasing 192 to win.

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"Up until it started drizzling and I saw all the ground staff running to the covers, that was the first time I had any idea there was rain coming."

- AAP

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