Smith sad to see Watson miss out on fairytale finish


Steve Smith expressed disappointment at Shane Watson being denied a fairytale end to his international career as India eliminated Australia from the World Twenty20.

Having already revealed he would no longer represent Australia after the global tournament, Watson did his best to send Australia through to the semi-finals with a fine display in Sunday's Super 10 Group 2 clash in Mohali.

The powerful all-rounder followed up an innings of 18 not out with impressive figures of 2-23 from four overs and a superb diving catch at cover to account for Yuvraj Singh as India attempted to chase down 161.

However, Watson's admirable efforts were ultimately trumped by India superstar Virat Kohli, who accelerated to 82 not out and secured victory for India with a flurry of late boundaries.

Asked to comment on Watson's display, in what proved his 307th and final international outing, Australia skipper Smith said: "I thought he had a pretty good last game. Obviously there's no real fairytales in sport, or [at least not] very often.

"Shane gave his all, like he did every game for Australia. I thought he bowled beautifully and he looked like he was 25 again taking that catch [to dismiss Yuvraj].

"It was great for him to be able to do that, just obviously disappointing with the result."

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell also praised Watson's farewell performance and reflected on the overall contribution of a richly talented player, who enjoyed many ups and downs in an Australia shirt.

"He's been very good for Australia and I'm pleased that he finished on a good note. Obviously the team didn't, but Watson had a very good game - he can hold his head up high," Chappell told ESPNCricinfo.

"His bowling was very good, he took a terrific catch.

"Shane Watson was a very strong all-rounder for Australia for a long time and did a terrific job, particularly in the short forms of the game.

"I think even Shane Watson himself will look back on his career, particularly his Test career, and say 'I underachieved', but certainly the one-day record is terrific: [over] 5,000 runs, nearly 200 wickets - that's a really good all-round record."