Gayle crushes Irish attack

2009-06-02 18:09
Chris Gayle (AP)

London - West Indies captain Chris Gayle led his side to a crushing nine-wicket win over Ireland in their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match at the Oval here on Tuesday with a blistering innings of 88 not out.

West Indies, set 131 to win, finished on 134 for one with four overs to spare after left-handed opener Gayle's whirlwind knock of 88 not out saw him face just 55 balls with seven sixes, most of them superb straight hits, and six fours in his innings.

Ramnaresh Sarwan was 25 not out after helping Gayle add an unbroken 79 off 52 balls for the second wicket.

Gayle and fellow opener Andre Fletcher scored 42 runs in the initial six powerplay overs.

The duo put on 55 in 45 balls but Ireland made a breakthrough when off-spinner Kyle McCallan succeeded where pace had failed and had Fletcher taken in the covers by Boyd Rankin for a 19 featuring four fours.

Gayle though was unconcerned, going down the pitch to loft McCallan for a huge straight six into the Pavilion.

Ireland, defending a modest target, had no one capable of containing Gayle on a good pitch - and there was no shame in that given he has made some of the world's best bowlers look rather ordinary during the course of his career.

The minnows made 130 for seven after skipper William Porterfield won the toss and chose to bat.

Several Ireland batsmen made starts with John Mooney (23) Niall O'Brien (22), Jeremy Bray (30) and Kevin O'Brien (20) all scoring at around the run-a-ball mark or better.

But Ireland were kept in check by some tight West Indies bowling, with spinner Sulieman Benn the pick of the attack with two for 24.

Paceman Fidel Edwards took one for 13 in his three while off-spinner Gayle took one for 25.


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