Cricket: Australia advance after rain-hit Windies match

Australia qualified for the Super Eights round of the World Twenty20 by defeating the West Indies in a rain-interrupted group B match in Colombo on Saturday.

Australia, chasing a challenging target of 192, were 100-1 in 9.1 overs when heavy rain forced the match to be called off in front of 18,000 fans at the Premadasa stadium.

The Aussies, who were ahead of the par score of 83 at that stage, won by 17 runs, according to the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Australia's second successive win -- they beat Ireland by seven wickets on Wednesday -- leaves the West Indies and Ireland battling for the other Super Eights spot from the group on Monday.

The weather ruined a keen finish with Australia edging ahead, needing 92 more from 65 balls with nine wickets in hand.

David Warner hit 28 in an opening stand of 30 with Shane Watson, before Mike Hussey joined Watson to add 70 in 42 balls for the unbroken second wicket.

Watson was unbeaten on 41 off 24 balls with three sixes and two boundaries. Hussey was on 28 with three fours and a six.

Earlier, the West Indies posted 191-8 following attacking half-centuries from Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels.

Left-handed Gayle smashed 54 off 33 balls and Samuels plundered 50 from 32 balls after the West Indies elected to bat in their first match of the tournament.

Sri Lankan fans were treated to a flurry of strokes as Gayle hit four sixes and five boundaries and Samuels chipped in with four sixes and three fours.

Australia rued a dropped catch at third man by Watson when Gayle was on four, as the opener pounded young fast bowler Pat Cummins for 18 runs in the fifth over.

When Gayle reached his half-century off 26 balls in the eighth over, the West Indies had moved to a promising 80-2.

He put on 39 in 23 balls for the second wicket with Johnson Charles (16) and 46 for the third with Samuels.

Watson avenged his error by holding a high return catch to dismiss Gayle off the first ball of the 11th over, but Samuels took over to destroy the Australian bowling.

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