Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

After rain, Chris Gayle storm takes West Indies home

Victory was completed when Gayle cracked his seventh four through the covers off Kane Williamson's part-time off-spin. (Source: AP) Victory was completed when Gayle cracked his seventh four through the covers off Kane Williamson's part-time off-spin. (Source: AP)
Associated Press | Port Of Spain | Posted: June 21, 2014 10:33 am

Left-hander Chris Gayle hit six sixes in a whirlwind 80 off 46 balls on Friday to power the West Indies to a 10-wicket victory over New Zealand midway through the fifth and final day of the second cricket Test.

Gayle added seven fours as the hosts raced to a victory target of 93 without loss in just 13.2 overs at Queen’s Park Oval, finishing on 95-0.

Man of the match Kraigg Brathwaite followed his first innings 129 with 14 not out.

The three-match series is now level at 1-1 with the final Test in Bridgetown, Barbados, starting on Thursday.

After dismissing New Zealand for 331 in its second innings, a rain delay of an hour jangled West Indian nerves but the sun emerged and Gayle quickly erased any doubts with a typically power-packed innings.

The 34-year-old opener was particularly severe on left-arm seamer Trent Boult, who disappeared for three sixes overhead in his third over.

Gayle brought up the equal second fastest 50 by a West Indian when he smacked his 28th delivery for his fourth six, and he continued to plunder all the tourists’ bowlers.

Victory was completed when Gayle cracked his seventh four through the covers off Kane Williamson’s part-time off-spin.

Earlier, New Zealand carried its overnight 257-8 to 331 before being bowled out on the stroke of lunch.

Wicketkeeper B.J. Watling ended 66 not out after a marathon which spanned six-and-a-half hours and occupied 216 balls.

Left-handed tailender Mark Craig struck nine fours in a top score of 67, his maiden Test half century.

Watling stretched his defiant overnight partnership with Craig to 99, a ninth wicket record for New Zealand against the Caribbean side as well as at this venue. Kemar Roach eventually made the vital breakthrough and led the West Indian bowlers with 4-74.

Shannon Gabriel took the final wicket and finished with 2-66. Fellow seamer Jerome Taylor took 2-73 and left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn claimed 2-78.

The West Indies only had themselves to blame as Craig rode his luck early in the day.

He was dropped by Sulieman Benn and Gayle off successive balls from Taylor. Benn grassed a very sharp chance at third slip while Gayle was late to move to a first slip chance that wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin could easily have gone for.

Craig, in his second Test, brought up 50 off 126 balls with seven fours. Watling followed soon afterward, having faced 164 balls with three boundaries.

The resistance finally ended when Roach induced Craig to edge a drive through to Ramdin.

Last man Trent Boult (8) hung around for 40 minutes before Gabriel also claimed an edge to Ramdin as he tried to evade a short ball.

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