Gayle blasts West Indies to victory over Sri Lanka

Chris Gayle struck a superb century on his home ground of Sabina Park to lead the West Indies to a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the opening match of the one-day triangular series.
Jamaican Gayle blasted nine fours and seven sixes in a typically aggressive knock of 109 from 100 balls – his 21st ODI hundred.
Sri Lanka eventually dismissed Gayle in the 31st over, caught by Upul Tharanga off spinner Ajantha Mendis, but the damage had already been done and the West Indies reached their victory target of 209 with more than 12 overs to spare.
Earlier, West Indies bowlers Sunil Narine and Ravi Rampaul did much of the damage as Sri Lanka slumped from a promising position to a disappointing 208 all out.
The Sri Lankans, who last week lost in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy to eventual winners India, had looked on course for a healthy total, reaching 104-2 in the 22nd over after being put in to bat.
However, spinner Narine (4-40) and paceman Rampaul (3-38) combined to rip out the Sri Lanka middle order and the tourists were dismissed without playing out their 50 overs.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Matthews had sought to build on the good early work of Mahela Jayawardene, who struck a run-a-ball 52 at the top of the innings, but he could not find sufficient support from his team-mates as he was left stranded 55 not out.
That total proved to be wholly inadequate once Gayle got into his stride, the powerful left-hander dominating a first-wicket stand of 115 with Johnson Charles, who had contributed just 29 to the partnership before he was the first wicket to fall.
Gayle’s dismissal sparked a mini collapse which saw the Windies lose three wickets for 12 runs – Darren Bravo going for 27 and Kieron Pollard without scoring – but Marlon Samuels and captain Dwayne Bravo saw them home with no further alarms.
The West Indies face India in the tournament’s second match on Sunday, also in Kingston. (Sky Sports)


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