Australia has slumped to a third straight T20 defeat to the West Indies, with the home side winning by six wickets in St Lucia.
In reply to Australia’s modest total of 6-141, West Indies reached the target in just 14.5 overs, Chris Gayle leading the way with 67 from just 38 balls.
It’s the first time since 2016 the 41-year-old Gayle has passed 50 in a T20 International, and his response was a bizarre third-person rant after the match.
“My main focus is the World Cup,” he said.
“Don’t mind the numbers, Chris Gayle not getting the runs, soon to be 42, you guys should be happy to see Chris Gayle on the field still.
“Hopefully Chris will last as long as possible. Cherish those moments. Commentators, don’t put no stats about Chris Gayle not scoring a half century.
“Just respect the ‘Universe Boss’ playing some cricket and having some fun. Enjoy the moment with Chris Gayle with a strong West Indies team.”
Gayle was brutal on Josh Hazlewood in particular, with the Australian conceding 18 runs from the final four balls of his first over, the second of the innings.
All up, Gayle hit four fours and seven sixes, in stark contrast to the Australian team, which managed to clear the boundary just twice in 20 overs.
The left-hander also passed 14,000 T20 runs during his innings, becoming the first player in history to reach that milestone. Gayle is more than 3,000 runs clear of his nearest challenger, Kieron Pollard.
Only Mitchell Starc was able to exert any control with the ball, his four overs costing just 15 runs. Elsewhere, Hazlewood, Riley Merideth and Adam Zampa all conceded more than 10 runs per over.
Earlier, Australia squandered a decent start from openers Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade, losing 4-39 in the middle overs to leave West Indies with the upper hand.
Wade set the tone for the innings by dispatching the first ball to the cover boundary, with the left-hander adding 41 with Finch in five overs, before he was dismissed for 23.
Wade was soon followed back to the pavilion by Mitchell Marsh (9 off 12), Alex Carey (13 off 9) and Finch (30 off 31) as Australia tried, and once again failed, to accelerate through the middle of the innings.
Finch fell to a spectacular outfield catch with Dwayne Bravo and Fabian Allen combining for the dismissal. Attempting to slog-sweep leg spinner Hayden Walsh from outside off stump, Finch succeeded only in skying the ball towards wide long-on, where Bravo (from long-on) and Allen (from mid-wicket) converged.
Bravo juggled the ball, which then bounced off his left wrist into the hands of Allen, sending the Australian captain on his way.
That left Moises Henriques and Ashton Turner to guide Australia to any sort of competitive total, with Henriques lucky to survive a missed stumping when he was on 28. Henriques was stranded down the pitch as West Indian captain Nicholas Pooran missed the straightforward stumping.
Henriques finished as top scorer with 33 off 29 balls, but the total of 141 proved to be woefully inadequate.
“We would have liked more runs, no doubt,” Finch said.
“That comes down to the top order not going through. If one of your top four is there towards the back end you put pressure on the opposition bowlers.
“We have to be better, no doubt, we can’t hide behind that, we’ve been below our best.”
Australia now trails 3-0 in the five match series.
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