Gayle signs off on Su­per50 ca­reer with au­da­cious hun­dred

Stabroek News Sunday - - SPORT -

BRIDGETOWN, Bar­ba­dos, CMC – Su­per­star Chris Gayle fit­tingly low­ered the cur­tain on his do­mes­tic 50-overs ca­reer with an au­da­cious hun­dred as Ja­maica Scor­pi­ons brushed aside Bar­ba­dos Pride by 33 runs in their Group B clash of the Re­gional Su­per50 here yes­ter­day.

Play­ing at Kens­ing­ton Oval in his 356th List A match, the 39-year-old plun­dered 122 off 114 de­liv­er­ies as Scor­pi­ons were dis­missed for 226 in the 48th over.

An­dre Mc­Carthy chipped in with 48 from 49 balls but Scor­pi­ons de­clined fol­low­ing his de­par­ture, los­ing their last eight wick­ets for 74 runs.

Gayle held the in­nings to­gether, ham­mer­ing 10 fours and eight sixes to mark his 27th triple fig­ure score in the shorter form of the game.

In re­ply, Pride slipped from 93 for two to 193 all out in the 48th over, los­ing their last eight wick­ets for ex­actly 100 runs, to re­main win-less in two matches fol­low­ing their rained-out opener against Lee­ward Is­lands Hur­ri­canes last Thurs­day.

Left-han­der Jonathan Carter im­pressed with a re­spon­si­ble 77 while cap­tain Shamarh Brooks got 26 but no other front-line bats­man passed 15.

Fast bowler Oshane Thomas picked up three for 53 while left-arm spin­ners Nikita Miller (2-23) and Christo­pher La­mont (2-45), along with pacer Gor­don Bryan (2-28) all claimed two wick­ets each.

While the vic­tory was Ja­maica’s sec­ond and left them top of the stand­ings, the real story sur­rounded vet­eran Gayle who could not have asked for a bet­ter fi­nale, which in­cluded two catches and a wicket from a 10-over spell cost­ing 31 runs.

Given a guard of hon­our by both teams at the start of the in­nings, Gayle put aside the sen­ti­men­tal­ity to pull Scor­pi­ons out of trou­ble af­ter fast bowler Miguel Cum­mins ac­counted for opener Chad­wick Wal­ton (5) and Jer­maine Black­wood (2) cheaply with just 21 on the board in the sixth over.

He part­nered with Mc­Carthy in an en­ter­tain­ing third wicket stand of 131 off 110 de­liv­er­ies which pow­ered Scor­pi­ons to 152 for two in the 24th over.

Pride were run­ning out of an­swers when seamer Kevin Stoute (3-33) broke the stand, re­mov­ing Mc­Carthy af­ter the bats­man had struck seven fours.

Gayle car­ried the in­nings, how­ever, tak­ing a spe­cial lik­ing to Ash­ley Nurse (2-49) who he blasted for two sixes in the 18th over and an­other three con­sec­u­tively in the 20th over.

The West Indies star was even­tu­ally sixth out in the 35th over with wick­ets tum­bling around him, fall­ing to 20-yearold seamer Shamar Springer who ended with two for 35 from an ex­cel­lent 10over spell.

Pride also suf­fered two set­backs at the start of their in­nings when La­mont re­moved both open­ers Shayne Mose­ley (10) and Leniko Boucher (9) with 32 on the board in the seventh over.

Carter and Brooks then came to­gether in a 61-run, third wicket part­ner­ship to con­sol­i­date the in­nings and deny Scor­pi­ons any fur­ther im­me­di­ate break­throughs.

How­ever, it was Gayle who even­tu­ally struck, gain­ing an lbw de­ci­sion against Brooks in the 21st over and his dis­missal saw Pride’s run chase un­ravel as wick­ets fell steadily.

Carter, who faced 125 balls and struck four bound­aries, was ninth out in the 48th over with Scor­pi­ons al­ready all but se­cure.

Kirstin Gomes and Mohryan Baksh caught cen­ter court dur­ing their semi­fi­nal duel (Roys­ton Alkins photo)

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