SHARJAH: England’s Dawid Malan plays a shot during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between England and South Africa at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday. – AFP

DUBAI: Australia booked their Twenty20 World Cup semifinal spot after South Africa failed to limit England to fewer than 131 runs in their Super 12 clash and bowed out yesterday. South Africa posted a challenging 189 for two with Rassie van der Dussen hitting an unbeaten 94 in Sharjah but they needed a big win to improve their run-rate over Australia.

The Aussies hammered West Indies by eight wickets in the first match of the day to go level on points with England who also made the final four after going past 87 runs in their chase and top the group after crossing 109. Pakistan have already made the semifinals from the other group. Earlier, David Warner smashed an unbeaten 89, with skipper Aaron Finch describing the opener as a “super player”. Chasing 158 for victory, Australia rode on a 124-run second-wicket stand between Warner and Mitchell Marsh to romp home in 16.2 overs in Abu Dhabi.

Marsh, who hit 53 of 32 balls, got out to Chris Gayle who celebrated the wicket in what was his likely swansong in West Indies colors. Warner scored his second half-century of this edition and hit the winning boundary as Australia finished with four wins from their five Super 12 matches. Earlier Josh Hazlewood took four wickets to keep West Indies down to 157 for seven despite skipper Kieron Pollard’s 44.

Reigning champions West Indies failed to give a winning farewell to Dwayne Bravo, who played his last international. Australia gave Bravo and Gayle a guard of honor after Warner hit the winning runs. Pollard rescued his side, who failed to defend their title after a loss to Sri Lanka took them out of the semi-final race, from 91-5 with his 31-ball knock and a key partnership of 35 with Bravo.

Bravo, who remains the leading wicket-taker in T20 matches with 553 scalps, scored 10 and walked back to claps and hugs. Andre Russell finished off the innings with two sixes off Mitchell Starc in his unbeaten 18 off seven balls. Openers Evin Lewis and Gayle started in attacking mode hitting the Australian pace bowlers to all parts of the ground in an opening stand of 30 off 14 balls.

Lewis smashed Hazlewood for three successive boundaries. Gayle hit two sixes, including one off Pat Cummins, before the bowler got the veteran big-hitter to chop a delivery on to the stumps. The 42-year-old West Indies great made 15 off nine balls and walked back to a standing ovation from his teammates. Hazlewood came back with a bang with twin strikes as he sent back Nicholas Pooran and Roston Chase, bowled for nought, in the space of three deliveries, to leave the West Indies teetering at 35-3.

The left-handed pair of Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer, who made 27, fought back with a partnership of 35 but Adam Zampa broke the stand with his leg spin. He got Lewis out for 29. “It’s the end of a generation, we have some guys who have done good things for T20 cricket in our team and around the world,” said Pollard. Warner unsettled the West Indian attack with boundaries all around the park despite losing opening partner inch for nine. Marsh was equally punishing of the bowlers as he hit five fours and two sixes in his fifth T20 fifty. – AFP