Gayle smashes Windies to win


Published: Friday 9th January 2015 by The News Editor

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A Chris Gayle masterclass led the West Indies to a four-wicket win in the first of three Twenty20 internationals against South Africa.

Rilee Rossouw’s half-century helped South Africa to 165 for four in Cape Town but it proved insufficient as G ayle hammered 77 off 31 balls, with eight sixes and five fours.

Marlon Samuels added 41 and though South Africa took it to the last over, the tourists’ victory with four balls to spare was comfortable.

Morne van Wyk pulled the third ball of the match, Sheldon Cottrell’s leg-side half-tracker, for six but South Africa took only nine from the first two overs.

Reeza Hendricks was trapped plumb lbw by Cottrell’s yorker for 12 and Van Wyk (17) edged Jason Holder to Gayle at slip to leave South Africa 33 for two.

Faf du Plessis hit three fours off Holder in the eighth over and a four and a six off Ashley Nurse in the ninth. He then hit Andre Russell for six and four to move to 38 from 19 balls – only to sky the next straight to mid-off where Darren Sammy took the catch.

The hundred came up in 13 overs and Cottrell dropped Rossouw at short fine leg before having David Miller (24) caught at deep cover by Dwayne Bravo.

Rossouw exacted full punishment by reaching 51 from 40 balls and Farhaan Behardien added 18 from 12. Cottrell (two for 33) and the economical Holder (one for 20) were the pick of the bowlers.

Gayle sparked the Windies’ response with sixes from successive Kagiso Rabada deliveries, the second a monstrous blast over wide long-on.

He added another off Kyle Abbott and hit the unfortunate Rabada for 14 in three balls to move to 33 from 12 balls, having run just a single.

Dwayne Smith got in on the act with back-to-back fours, the first bringing up the 50 partnership in 27 balls.

Four, six, four and four from successive Wayne Parnell deliveries took Gayle to 53 from 17 balls – the joint-second fastest half-century in T20 internationals, beaten only by Yuvraj Singh’s 12-ball assault on England in 2007 which included six sixes from one Stuart Broad over.

Smith (20) was dismissed lbw by Imran Tahir’s first ball, though replays suggested a touch of glove.

Rabada was warmly applauded after returning with a dot ball against Gayle, who then hit back-to-back sixes off Tahir before being caught behind off an ill-advised reverse sweep.

Marlon Samuels and Bravo kept the run rate ticking until the latter was deceived by Parnell’s slower ball and chipped to midwicket, with Samuels then bizarrely giving a pad-bat catch to backward point off Tahir.

Russell and Ramdin holed out to long leg but Kieron Pollard finished the job with a boundary.

Published: Friday 9th January 2015 by The News Editor

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