Gayle warms up for regional one-dayers with belligerent ton

Chris Gayle prepared for his return to West Indies cricket with a typically belligerent 155 off 79 balls before retiring in a Jamaica trial match at Kensington Park in Kingston on Tuesday.

The powerful left-handed opener has been out of the West Indies team since he, as captain, and other selected players withdrew from the home series against Bangladesh in July.

He said after leading his team to victory by six wickets over Brenton Parchment’s 11 that he was ready for the regional West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) one-day tournament in Guyana later this month.

“I am physically fit and the aim now is to get the mind in good condition heading into the regional tournament,” he said. “It feels good to be back into the groove. The ball was coming well off the bat and I was enjoying my batting. It’s good to know that I am still in form,” he said.

Gayle hammered three sixes and 13 fours as his team overhauled the Parchment eleven’s 303 for five for the loss of only four wickets.

Gayle shared an opening stand of 182 with Zeniffe Fowler who made 97. Danza Hyatt hit an unbeaten 37 off 23 balls to see his team home.

West Indies batsmen Xavier Marshall, with 73 off 48 balls, and Shawn Findlay, with 60, and former Jamaica youth team opener Jon Ross Campbell, 66, led the scoring for Parchment’s team.

The WICB and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) have accepted a proposal by the Caricom leaders that all players be available for selection for the three-Tests tour of Australia November 18 to December 20. But the WICB  has made it mandatory for players to participate in the Guyana tournament to qualify.

In Gayle’s absence from the team, Floyd Reifer led a replacement team that was beaten by Bangladesh in both Tests and all three ODIS and by Pakistan, Australia and India in their three qualifying round matches in the Champions Trophy in Australia. (TC).

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