Australia crash to fourth straight T20 series loss after Chris Gayle dominates for West Indies
Australia have suffered a fourth straight Twenty20 international cricket series loss after Chris Gayle returned to form for the West Indies in St Lucia.
The home team took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series, winning by six wickets after reaching their target of 142 in 14.5 overs.
Gayle, who became the first player to score 14,000 T20 runs, smashed 67 off 38 balls.
It was 41-year-old Gayle’s highest score in 20 T20 internationals since 2016.
Gayle, who had totalled just 41 in his five previous T20 internationals, went scoreless in his first three deliveries from Mitchell Starc.
But the left-hander blasted 18 runs off four consecutive Josh Hazlewood deliveries, following a six over long on with three fours.
He took 22 off an over from legspinner Adam Zampa, reaching his half-century with a third successive six before falling to recalled paceman Riley Meredith (3-48 off 3.5).
While Gayle smashed seven sixes, Australia cleared the boundary just twice in another modest batting effort, scoring 6-141 after being dismissed for 140 and 127 in the first two games.
Captain Aaron Finch opted to bat first after losing the first two matches where he asked the West Indies to take first strike.
But Australia managed just 11 fours and two sixes in their 6-141 total.
They scored just 69 runs off the last 10 overs, three fewer than in the first 10.
They struggled against the dual spin attack of Fabian Allen (1-26 off four) and Hayden Walsh (2-18 off four), and veteran medium pacer Dwayne Bravo (1-17 of three).
A fourth-wicket stand of 59 – Australia’s first half-century partnership of the series – between Moises Henriques (33 off 29 balls) and Ashton Turner (24 not out off 22) added some substance to the innings.
Australia didn’t capitalise on their opening stand of 41 from the first five overs.
Matthew Wade (23 off 16) made a swift start, striking four boundaries from cover drives and pulls off his first 10 balls, before being bowled by Obed McCoy.
Finch (30 off 31) got a start but again struggled for fluency after two single-digit dismissals, hitting just two boundaries.
Mitchell Marsh, coming off half centuries in the two previous games, was trapped lbw for nine when trying to sweep at left-arm spinner Allen.
Australia lost just two wickets in the first 11 overs, but lost two in the 12th, both bowled by legspinner Walsh.
Carey was caught at extra cover for 13 off the first ball and Finch fell of the fifth, caught at deep midwicket after Bravo dropped the ball with his first touch but with his second pushed it to the adjacent Lendl Simmons.