Windies blown away by Ashraful batting blitz

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful smashed the fastest half-century in twenty20 cricket yesterday to throw the West Indies out of the world championships.

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful smashed the fastest half-century in twenty20 cricket yesterday to throw the West Indies out of the world championships.

The 23-year-old dynamo pounded seven boundaries and three sixes in scoring 61 off 27 balls as Bangladesh overtook the West Indian total of 164 for 8 with 12 deliveries to spare at the Wanderers.

Aftab Ahmed chipped in with an unbeaten 62, sharing a rollicking stand of 109 for the third wicket with Ashraful that came off just 62 deliveries.

Ashraful reached his half-century off 20 balls by hooking Fidel Edwards for a six, surpassing Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya's 23-ball 50 against New Zealand at Wellington in 2006.

The West Indies were knocked out of the 12-nation tournament with their second successive defeat after the eight-wicket loss to South Africa in Tuesday's opening match.

Bangladesh play hosts South Africa in Cape Town tomorrow with both teams already assured of a place in the Super Eights round.

The West Indians, who were sent in to bat on a drying wicket, struggled to 104 for 3 in 15 overs before the lower order added 60 valuable runs in the last five overs.

Dwayne Smith hit 29 off seven balls to lead his team's recovery, but the target of 8,3 runs an over was easily overtaken by the Bangladesh batsmen.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe, who stunned the cricket world with their eight-wicket "biggest upset in cricket history" over the lionised Australia, found the going a bit tougher when they faced England yesterday.

England beat Zimbabwe by 50 runs in their Group B match in Cape Town. - Sapa-AFP

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