Brisbane Times
Watson puts drop behind him to lead team home

Watson puts drop behind him to lead team home

Mon September 24, 2012 6:53am

COLOMBO: The pain of dropping Chris Gayle, the world's most explosive batsman, drove Shane Watson to atone with a performance that pushed Australia into the Super Eights of the World Twenty20.

Australia won a rain-shortened match against the West Indies, one of the teams fancied to win the tournament, by 17 runs on Duckworth-Lewis calculations despite Gayle and Marlon Samuels firing rapid half-centuries in a challenging 8-191.

Gayle's 54 from 33 balls was only possible because Watson dropped him on four, in the fourth over, diving forward from third man.

Watson tortured himself over what he felt was a game-changing moment ''for about the next 16 overs'', even though he surged back into the game to grasp Gayle's wicket.

''I know how much of a difference it makes to our team, to everyone, if we're able to get Chris Gayle out,'' Watson said after adding a second man-of-the-match performance to his dominant display against Ireland.

''No doubt I was certainly feeling that pain until I was able to get him out but in the meantime he had done a fair bit of damage and gave a lot of momentum to the West Indian side.

''That was very disappointing but in the end, to be able to make up for it in some way, with the bat especially. It never makes it feel any better but at least we were more chance of winning the game anyway.

Watson took 2-29 and led the run chase with 41 not out from 24 balls. He had Mike Hussey (28 not out from 19) with him when rain stopped play in the 10th over, with Australia 1-100.

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