Australia knocked out hosts West Indies with a comprehensive six-wicket triumph in their final Super Eight match, setting up a semifinal clash against Pakistan in the Twenty20 World Cup in St Lucia.
Set a paltry target of 105, Michael Clarke’s men romped home with 3.4 overs to spare on Wednesday.
Man-of-the-Match all-rounder Steven Smith starred with the ball for Australia, picking up three wickets for 20 runs in his four overs, before David Warner (25) and Brad Haddin (42) guided the team to the target after a few hiccups.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, the West Indies were dealt an early blow when Dirk Nannes bowled in-form skipper Chris Gayle (4) off the innings’ second delivery.
The other opener Shivnarine Chanderpaul (24) departed soon when a miscued shot off Mitchell Johnson’s bowling was caught by David Hussey.
In his 18-ball cameo, Chanderpaul struck four boundaries.
His departure triggered a collapse and the hosts were reduced to five for 60.
Ramnaresh Sarwan, the highest scorer for the team with a 31-ball 26, just didn’t get enough support at the other end.
With wickets tumbling around him, he could not give the acceleration which the West Indies needed desperately.
For Australia, Hussey sparkled in the only over he bowled as he picked up two wickets conceding just three runs. Johnson also finished with reasonably good figures of two for 22 in his four overs.
Australia’s chase got off to a flier courtesy Warner, who was his usual destructive self. The opener smashed a 12-ball 25, studded with four fours and a six, before being caught at slip by Gayle off Jerome Taylor.
Shane Watson (5) departed in the very next over and Clarke’s run out by Dawyne Bravo after a rather slow 24-ball 16 created some anxiety in the Australian camp.
But Haddin and Hussey (10) ensured that things went off smoothly for their team thereafter as they guided it to 109 for four in 16.2 overs.
With this win, Australia finished the Super Eight campaign on top of their group F ahead of Sri Lanka, who ended runners-up after knocking India out with a five-wicket win on Wedneday.
Australia have played Pakistan in the preliminary stage of the tournament and had won that match.