Gayle Century Hammers Sri Lanka In Opener
West Indies 209-4 (Gayle 109) beat
Sri Lanka 208 by six wickets
ODI tri-series, Jamaica
Chris Gayle hammered an 89-ball century to set West Indies on course for a comfortable six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the opening game of the One-Day International tri-series in Jamaica.
Gayle's 109 in 100 balls set the home side on their way to 209 for four in just 37.5 overs after Sri Lanka had been bowled out for 208.
The left-hander hit nine fours and seven sixes, delighting his home crowd in making his 21st ODI century, and more than making up for dropping Angelo Mathews earlier in the day.
The Sri Lankan captain had made just seven when he edged Kemar Roach and he would go on to make 55 not out in 77 balls to underpin Sri Lanka's meagre effort.
Mahela Jayawardene (52) also posted a half-century but the tourists struggled to come to terms with the West Indies bowling attack, for whom Sunil Narine took four for 40 including the key wickets of both Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara (17).
Upul Tharanga marked his latest return to the top of the order with 25 and Dinesh Chandimal made 21 but otherwise there was little to cheer as Sri Lanka's final six batsmen failed to reach double figures, cleaned up by Ravi Rampaul (3-38), the accurate and probing Narine, and Dwayne Bravo (2-37).
Gayle then launched into Sri Lanka's attack, outscoring Johnson Charles to the extent that the latter's share in an opening stand of 115 was 29 in 58 balls, at times the pace of his innings more in tune with Test cricket although he did launch two sixes of his own.
Darren Bravo made a more aggressive 27 in 30 balls before Gayle fell to Ajantha Mendis and although Bravo was run out nine runs later and Kieron Pollard (0) was trapped in front by Nuwan Kulasekara to leave the score 191 for four, there were to be no further slip ups as Marlon Samuels (15 not out) and Dwayne Bravo (8 not out) led their side home with plenty in reserve.
West Indies take on India, fresh from their ICC Champions Trophy 2013 victory over England in the second match of the tournament on Sunday (30th June).
© Cricket World 2013