Rob Wright

The two batsmen who'll decide tonight's T20 world final

They have been the standout batsmen of the World T20 championship in India, and Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli again loom as the key men in tonight's semi-final in Mumbai.   While his campaign has been hampered by a hamstring complaint, Gayle was at his destructive best against England, smashing 11 sixes in an unbeaten 100 from only 48 deliverires as the West Indies chased down 183 to win with 11 balls to spare.   Kohli was India's hero in the final group game against Australia, posting a brilliant 82 not out off 51 balls to rescue the home side which was in trouble at 4-94 in the 14th over, chasing 161.   He also showed his class in the earlier win against Pakistan, grafting out a match-winning 55 from 73 deliveries on a wicket that was turning square.   Asked how important it would be to get Kohli early, Gayle said it would be a mistake to focus on just one player. He did say, however, he hadn't been surprised by what the 27-year-old had produced.   "I have said it over the years he (Virat) is going to be the world beater he is today," Gayle said. "He has been fantastic right through the year. He is in good form and it is a good wicket (Wankhede Stadium) as well, so anything is possible." India will start hot favourites in the match after the West Indies (without Gayle) were beaten by Afghanistan in the final group game.   The West Indies have called in the hard-hitting Lendl Simmons to replace Andre Fletcher who injured his hamstring in the loss to the Afghans. Simmons was a member of the West Indies side which won the World T20 final in Sri Lanka in 2012.   - ARM SPORTS BUREAU  


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