'Gayle wicket key to SL's title hopes'

Sri Lanka has to dismiss West Indies opener Chris Gayle cheaply to keep their title hopes alive.

West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle stretches during a practice session in Dhaka. Picture: AFP

COLOMBO - Sri Lanka can kiss their title hopes goodbye if they fail to dismiss West Indies opener Chris Gayle cheaply in the World Twenty20 final on Sunday, Australia captain George Bailey said.

Australia bore the brunt of the swashbuckling left-hander's onslaught as he smashed an unbeaten 75 off 41 balls, studded with six massive sixes and five fours, to set up a 74-run win for West Indies in the second semi-final on Friday.

Bailey said Sri Lanka's formula for a victory at home should be pretty simple: dismiss Gayle under 20 runs.

"If Sri Lanka get Chris Gayle out under 20 runs, they'll win. If they don't, I think the West Indies are too strong," Bailey told reporters after the match.

"His records speaks for itself. The key is to get him out early and put some pressure on the middle order.

"Sri Lanka are a pretty well balanced side. I think the two best teams got through to the finals."

The Jamaican curbed his natural attacking instincts at the start and batted till the end to take West Indies to a massive 205 for four against Australia.

He raised the tempo later, targetting bowlers and waiting for the loose deliveries to remain unbeaten till the end.

Bailey said Australia were aware of Gayle's impact and their plan was to dismiss the opener early.

"We had a meeting earlier and it's very much early on you try and get him out and that was our ploy," Bailey said.

"We started with our best bowler in the tournament to try and get Chris Gayle out... he just managed to not get on strike.

"We felt like we needed to get Chris Gayle out to give ourselves a great shot tonight but he didn't face much of the bowling and he had faced something like 17 balls at the end of 10th over.

"The guys batting around him batted very very well."