St Lucia : Riding on a history-making half-century from Chris Gayle, West Indies thrashed Australia by six wickets in the third T20I against Australia to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series, here on Tuesday.
Sent out to bowl first, West Indies held Australia to a total of 141/6 from their 20 overs and chased that target down with six wickets and 31 balls to spare.
Gayle hammered seven sixes and four fours as he raced to 67 off 38 to power the hosts to victory, becoming the first batter to score 14,000 T20 runs as he notched his 14th T20I half-century for West Indies.
The veteran came out to bat in the first over after Mitchell Starc (1/15) removed Andre Fletcher (4) early and took the game away from Australia from there.
He looked dangerous from the get-go, smacking Josh Hazlewood (0/33) for a six over long-on in the second over. He was particularly brutal against Adam Zampa (0/34), going past the 14,000-run milestone with a six off the spinner in the ninth over, before hitting him for three consecutive maximums in the 11th to raise his half-century.
He looked set to hit Riley Meredith (3/48) for a hat-trick of sixes in the 12th over as well, only to edge behind off the final ball.
Meredith was the most dangerous of Australia’s bowlers, taking 3/48 as he removed Lendl Simmons (15) and Dwayne Bravo (7) alongside Gayle.
Alongside Gayle, Nicholas Pooran also played a prominent role with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 32 off 27.
Earlier, Australia enjoyed their most positive start of the series with the bat, with Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade putting on a 41-run stand before Obed McCoy (1/9) bowled the latter for 23.
The Australian innings failed to get going from there as the in-form Mitchell Marsh (9) was trapped in front by Fabian Allen (1/26) before Alex Carey (13) and Finch (30) fell to Hayden Walsh Jr (2/18) in the 12th over to leave the tourists at 80/4.
Finch was caught spectacularly by Allen at deep mid-wicket, with the all-rounder diving acrobatically to take a catch originally spilled by Bravo.
Moises Henriques (33) and Ashton Turn (24) rebuilt the innings from there, but neither could up the run-rate, leaving West Indies with a gettable target.