Gayle’s lesson for CCC
GEORGETOWN – Discarded West Indies opener Chris Gayle sent the sternest of messages to his detractors yesterday, plundering a brilliant century to propel Jamaica to a convincing 134-run victory over Combined Campuses and Colleges in their Regional Super50 Group B clash at Everest.
Gayle, told earlier this week by the West Indies Cricket Board he would have to withdraw recent controversial comments or face exile from the regional side, responded with a stroke-filled 147 that lifted Jamaica to an imposing 259 for three from their allotted 37 overs.
Left-arm fast bowler Krishmar Santokie (2-16) and leg-spinner Odean Brown (2-35) then claimed two wickets apiece as CCC were restricted to 125 for five.
Gayle quickly took centre stage in a game reduced to 37 overs per side, after play was delayed by two hours and 45 minutes because of a wet outfield.
Watched by a vociferous crowd who cheered every boundary struck by the talismanic left-hander, Gayle slammed 11 fours and eight sixes off 110 deliveries before he was dismissed off the penultimate ball of the innings.
He dominated a rollicking 174-run, third- wicket partnership with out-of-favour Windies batsman Xavier Marshall who offered support with an unbeaten 52 off 53 balls, decorated with three fours and two sixes.
Jamaica were 31 for one in the eighth over after losing Kennar Lewis for 16, smartly stumped by Jamal Smith off off-spinner Ryan Austin.
Lewis had earlier struck fast bowler Jason Dawes for four over mid-on off the third ball of the first over and followed up with a straight six off the same bowler in the fifth over.
Danza Hyatt, who joined the Jamaican team on Thursday after returning from the West Indies tour of Bangladesh, scored a run-a-ball 35 with two fours and two sixes in adding 50 for the second wicket with a sedate Gayle.
He was eventually caught by Kavesh Kantasingh at deep midwicket off medium Kyle Mayers, paving the way for the real fireworks.
The 32-year-old Gayle, who played 91 Tests and scored 6 373 runs at an average of 41.65 before running into problems with the WICB, was severe on the University students’ bowling attack after passing his half century.
He needed 65 balls for his first fifty, counting five fours and a six, but required just 33 more deliveries to race to triple figures.
The former Windies captain was particularly severe on fellow countryman pacer Dawes, whom he twice struck for back-to-back sixes in the 35th and 37th overs.
In reply, CCC were rocked early by Santokie, losing Miles Bascombe and Nicholas Alexis without scoring, while captain Romel Currency made six before he was caught by Shawn Findlay off Santokie to leave the score on 10 for three in the seventh over. (CMC)