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Gayle blasts Australia to Twenty20 defeat

  • Story Highlights
  • Chris Gayle leads from front with blistering 88 as West Indies beat Australia
  • He shares an opening stand of 133 in 69 balls with Andre Fletcher at The Oval
  • David Warner with 63 gives Australia some hope after they slump to just 15-3
  • Champions India beat Bangladesh by 25 runs in their Group A opener
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(CNN) -- Chris Gayle showed his liking for the shortest form of international cricket by blasting 88 as the West Indies thrashed Australia by seven wickets in the World Twenty20 Group C opener on Saturday.

Gayle is all smiles after landing the man of the match award against Australia.

Gayle is all smiles after landing the man of the match award against Australia.

West Indies skipper Gayle caused a storm when he said said he preferred limited overs games to Test cricket as his side slipped to a series defeat to England, but certainly inspired his men at The Oval.

Chasing 170 for victory, Gayle hit six sixes and six boundaries as he and Andre Fletcher put on 133 in just 69 balls to all but seal victory.

Gayle was particularly hard on returning Aussie paceman Brett Lee, smashing 27 off his third over.

Fletcher went first for 53 and Gayle followed three overs later.

Xavier Marshall gave Mitchell Johnson his second victim, but Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul saw the West Indies home with 25 balls to spare.

Australia play Sri Lanka on Monday at Trent Bridge needing victory to have any chance of going through to the Super 8 stage while West Indies play the Sri Lankans at the same venue on Wednesday.

Big-hitting David Warner rescued Australia after they lost Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting in consecutive balls of the first over to be 3-2.

He hit 63 off 53 deliveries, including six boundaries and a six while Michael and David Hussey combined for a stand of 30 in 14 balls to hoist the world's top rated Test team to a respectable score.

But then came Gayle's incredible innings and a century opening partnership in 51 balls.

In an earlier match in Group D, New Zealand beat Scotland by seven wickets in a match reduced to seven overs per side due to rain.

Scotland hit an impresssive 89 for four wickets, but the Kiwis chased it down with Jess Ryder hitting 33 off just 15 balls.

Defending champions India also enjoyed an opening victory but were given problems by Bangladesh in a Group A match at Trent Bridge.

Gautam Gambhir hit 50 and Yuvraj Singh scored a typical 41 off just 18 balls as India scored 180-5 in their 20 overs.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha grabbed 4-21 as Bangladesh came up 25 runs short despite a brave effort with opener Junaid Siddique making 41 off 22 balls that included two fours and three sixes.

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