Gayle hits superb ton for Jamaica
KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Opener Chris Gayle sent perhaps his strongest message yet to the West Indies selectors ahead of the upcoming Australia series as he pummeled a brilliant hundred against Windward Islands to give Jamaica the upper hand here Saturday.
The left-hander smashed 165 from a mere 155 balls, uncorking yet another amazing innings to fire the home side up to 262 for seven in their second innings, on the second day of their opening round Regional Four-Championship match at Sabina Park.
Gayle, the former Jamaica and West Indies captain, shredded the Windwards bowling for eight fours and 14 giant sixes. His effort allowed Jamaica to rattle up an overall lead of 283 runs after the Windwards slumped from their overnight 49 for three to 159 all out.
Pacer Andrew Richardson engineered the rout, claiming five for 36 while leg-spinner Odean Brown (2-19) and seamer David Bernard Jr (2-38) finished with two wickets apiece.
It took Nelon Pascal’s entertaining run-a-ball, unbeaten 28 in a 47-run, last wicket stand with Shane Shillingford who stroked a cameo 19, to give the Windwards precious runs at the end.
Gayle then put the Windwards bowling to the sword in a devastating assault. He got off the mark with a boundary over point and followed up with another through extra cover to hint at what was to come.
He dominated a 50-run, opening stand with Simon Jackson (9) before putting on another 102 for the third wicket with Brendan Nash (14).
Gayle reached his half-century in style off just 48 balls, smashing Shillingford over square leg for six to move to 47 before finding another maximum over mid-wicket.
He celebrated by launching Shillingford onto the roof of the Kingston Cricket Club before hitting the same bowler over wide long on and he moved into overdrive.
Gayle eventually raised his century off 88 balls by lofting off-spinner Liam Sebastien onto the George Headley Stand and then motored to his150 off just another 42 balls.
With a double century at his mercy, he perished tamely, popping an easy catch to Devon Smith at mid-wicket off Shillingford at 228 for six.
The only other batsman to get past 20 was Andre Russell, who cracked three fours and a six over mid-wicket off Shillingford, in an unbeaten 23.
Shillingford has so far taken four for 66 while pacer Pascal has claimed two for 51.