West Indies skipper Dwayne Bravo says he had “sent a message” to Chris Gayle as he was making a mockery of the Sri Lankan attack,asking the opener to try and go for a bonus-point win in the first match of the Tri-nation One-Day series here.
Chasing 209,Gayle eventually did manage a bonus-point six-wicket win as he smashed a 100-ball 109 to lead his team to victory with as many as 73 balls to spare at the Sabina Park.
“In the 29th over,we sent a message to Chris to try and win it with a bonus point,” Bravo said at the post-match presentation ceremony yesterday.
He further added: “Winning the first game is always important. It was important to rotate the bowlers on a flat wicket. We kept taking wickets and stifling their innings.”
Opting to field,West Indies rode on Sunil Narine’s 4/40 to bowl out Sri Lanka for a modest total despite skipper Angelo Mathews’ battling,unbeaten half-century.
“Narine is our mystery bowler,happy to have him,” Bravo said.
Man of the Match Gayle was happy to have got the runs in front of his home crowd.
“(It’s) been a while having got a century,really good to get it in front of the home crowd,” Gayle said.
“We restricted them well on a good batting wicket,we utilised the conditions well in the morning. The opening partnership was vital.
“Coming from England and getting a century was a good thing for me. I am home,you know the conditions well,” he added.
Mathews felt his team could never get going after losing the toss.
“(It was an) important toss,it was two paced,holding up a bit,it got easier,but a special hundred by a special person.
“We had to adapt to the wicket but we lost wickets and could not get going,Mahela (Jaywardene) batted brilliantly but he had no partners. We thought we had a chance,the wicket was two paced but it flattened out.
“When Gayle gets going,no attack is enough and no ground big enough,” Mathews said.