Gayle force Windies threaten to blow opponents away
The ICC World T20 final takes place on Sunday, and while England will play no further part in the tournament, the four remaining teams all stand a very good chance of claiming the title.
Host nation, Sri Lanka, play Pakistan in the first semi-final on Thursday and will be hoping to profit from home advantage when they take on the winners of the inaugural World T20. After dumping England out of the tournament on Monday, orchestrated by talisman bowler Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka will be eager to continue the fine run of form against a Pakistan side packed with talent.
Saeed Ajmal poses an ever constant threat with the ball while Shahid Afridi is more than capable of producing fireworks during the Pakistan innings; he is also a dab hand at bowling under the pressure that T20 brings to bowlers. An 85mph delivery is a handy variation for any spin bowler to have.
Australia take on the West Indies on Friday in the second of the two semi-finals and they bring the some fine form throughout the tournament. None more evident than with Shane Watson whose powerful hitting at the top of the Australian innings, coupled with his bowling make him a match-winner.
Chris Gayle and the rest of the West Indian batsmen will no doubt play in their habitual aggressive manor as they look to put the Australian bowling attack to the sword as they have done with most attacks they have faced. In Gayle, they have arguably the best T20 batsman in the world and someone who is never happier than when dispatching a ball out of the stadium for six.
While both Sri Lanka and Australia have been consistently impressive throughout the tournament, the West Indies are more than capable of destroying any opposition on their day, if Gayle and the rest of the batting line-up can produce the fireworks they are famous for. Pakistan also knows how to play T20 and should not be written off.
It is the nature of T20 that it is unpredictable, regardless of who comes out on top on Sunday, all of the remaining matches are sure to be a spectacle and will bring to an end a hugely entertaining tournament.
Words: Sam Heath