West Indies crash out to ruthless Australia

West Indies saved their worst for last as they were knocked out of their home tournament with a crushing six-wicket defeat by Australia. The hosts were in trouble as soon as the captain Chris Gayle fell second ball and flopped to 105, which their unbeaten opponents eased past in 16.2 overs.

Australia’s next engagement is Friday’s semi-final against Pakistan while Sri Lanka, who qualified in the first game of the day in St Lucia, face England on Thursday. Sri Lanka’s five-wicket victory over India left West Indies needing to win by 24 runs to reach the last four ahead of Kumar Sangakkara’s side, but that quickly proved impossible.

Gayle and bouncers leave India facing exit

Chris Gayle finished agonisingly short of becoming the first man to make two international Twenty20 centuries, but by the time he was run-out, he had already swiped West Indies to a total that provided too tall for India’s batsmen who yet again floundered against the short ball. The defeat leaves India facing an early exit for the third straight global tournament, and the same questions about batting technique which were raised followed the elimination from last year’s World Twenty20 will be asked again.

England fall victim to rain rules

West Indies booked their place in the Super Eights with a controversial rain-assisted victory over England at Providence, as Chris Gayle justified his decision to bowl first with a fiery but shortlived 25 from 12 balls – an innings that proved sufficient, under the provisions of Duckworth-Lewis, to carry West Indies to a revised target of 60 in six overs, after England had produced arguably their finest batting display in the format’s history to post an imposing 191 for 5.

Jayawardene ton breaks Punjab’s losing run

There were two captivating innings of contrasting styles on show at the Eden Gardens and, eventually, it was the precision of Mahela Jayawardene’s graceful strokes that helped Kings XI Punjab overcome the challenge set by Chris Gayle’s exhibition of bottom-handed power-hitting. Jayawardene started in high gear and kept the accelerator floored all the way to his first Twenty20 century; his partnership with Sri Lankan team-mate Kumar Sangakkara ensured Punjab’s string of deplorable performances this season ended with a chase that was always several steps ahead of the asking-rate.

Resurgent Windies push for series win

gayleMatch facts
Friday March 12, 2010
Start time 9.30am (13.30GMT)

Big Picture
The fourth game gives West Indies the chance to wrap up the series after their resounding 141-run win on Wednesday, which represented a palpable shift in momentum between the two sides. Importantly for the home side, the win was built upon a solid team effort, lead by Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s patient fifty and Darren Sammy’s superb use of the conditions, as Zimbabwe unravelled completely after a promising start to their chase.

Sammy, Chanderpaul give Windies series lead

gayleWithin 80 balls in to the chase, it was all but over. A penetrative spell from Darren Sammy, in which he took three wickets from his first three overs – later adding one more to his tally – left the Zimbabwean top order reeling in their chase of 246 at Arnos Vale. The visitors had thrown in the towel at 58 for 5 went on to concede the game by a massive 141 runs, which gave West Indies a 2-1 lead in the series.

Gayle, Deonarine help West Indies level series

gayleChris Gayle, hurting after the last-over defeat in the first ODI, delivered a gritty all-round performance with support from Narsingh Deonarine to help steer West Indies to a series-levelling win – their first victory in an international fixture since August last year. The pair got together when Zimbabwe’s spinners had, yet again, put in an inspired effort to cripple the hosts in their chase of 207. But Gayle restrained himself amid the quick wickets that followed a fiery start, and opened up in timely fashion with Deonarine once Zimbabwe appeared to step off the pedal, to set the stage for a hard-fought victory. The batting backed up a disciplined effort from West Indies’ bowlers, led by Nikita Miller’s career-best haul.

Sehwag, Taylor, Tendulkar, Afridi take top honours

Virender Sehwag has won the Test batting prize for the second year running in the ESPNcricinfo Awards. Sehwag’s audacious 293 against Sri Lanka in Mumbai was chosen over Andrew Strauss’s 161 at Lord’s in the Ashes and Chris Gayle’s unbeaten 165 in Adelaide, by a jury of former cricketers, commentators and Cricinfo’s senior editors.

The six awards, for performances in the three international cricket formats in 2009, were shared between players from three countries: India, Pakistan and West Indies. Gayle won the Twenty20 batting award for his 50-ball 88 against Australia at The Oval in the World Twenty20. His West Indies team-mate Jerome Taylor’s rout of England in Jamaica was voted the Test bowling performance of the year.

West Indies search for a consolation win

gayleMatch Facts

Friday, February 19, MCG
Start time 1425 (0325 GMT)

The Big Picture

The series is decided so there is little but pride to play for in this match. Australia want to finish the summer undefeated across all three formats, so they won’t be easing up despite resting some players. West Indies would love to leave the country with some positives ahead of their home series against Zimbabwe, so they will be keen for a consolation victory after their best hope of the series, the Sydney match, was washed out.

Gayle, Strauss, Sehwag in contention

The countdown to the ESPNCricinfo Awards begins, with Ashes hundreds from Andrew Strauss, Jonathan Trott, Virender Sehwag’s thrill-a-ball 293 against Sri Lanka, Chris Gayle’s mature and match-saving 165 against Australia and Umar Akmal’s hundred on debut making up the final contenders for the Best Test Batting performance of 2009.

The top five were drawn on basis of votes from a 14-member jury that includes some of the leading cricket experts in the world and Cricinfo’s senior editors.