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Chris, Marlon in on runs

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

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KOLKATA – Half-centuries from Chris Gayle and compatriot Marlon Samuels rounded off a reassuring performance from the West Indies, as they drew their tour match against Uttar Pradesh yesterday.
Both batsmen used the relaxed atmosphere to explore the range of their strokeplay, scoring 58 apiece, as the Windies, leading by 94 on first innings, reached 199 for five in their second innings when the three-day contest was brought to a close at the Jadavpur University Complex.
The visitors had found out the hard way how merciless the conditions that lie ahead could be, when the bottom half of the hosts’ batting plundered easy runs, as Uttar Pradesh finished on 372 for nine declared, replying to West Indies’ first innings total of 466, with Parvinder Singh completing his 10th first-class hundred of 112.
Left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell was the pick of the Windies bowlers, grabbing three for 65 from 19.3 overs, left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul supported with three for 124 from 33 overs and Tino Best, two for 77.
Gayle, anxious to spend some quality time at the crease after being dismissed cheaply in the first innings, slammed 11 fours from 49 balls in just over an hour.
The left-handed openers put on 68 for the first wicket before Kieran Powell became the first of four wickets for Piyush Chawla, the former India leg-spinner and Uttar Pradesh captain. Gayle also surrendered to a return catch to the second delivery from the same bowler after the regional side resumed from their tea-time total of 85 for one.
Samuels, who had promised much in the first innings before he was dismissed, batted with typical nonchalance the second time around, striking nine fours and one six from 47 balls in just under an hour.
He put on 84 for the third wicket with wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin, whose 41 from 53 balls in 45 minutes contained five fours and one six and also gave him precious time in the middle which he also lacked from the first innings.
They were dismissed within six balls of each other. Samuels skied Arish Alam to long-on and Ramdin was caught at deep mid-wicket off Chawla, who also had Darren Sammy caught at long-on for eight before Permaul joined Narsingh Deonarine to bat through until stumps were drawn.
Earlier, Parvinder reached his hundred from 129 balls, when he cut Cottrell through backward point for the 15th of his 17 fours. (CMC)