Chris Gayle sent another strong message to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), except this time it was not verbally transmitted; it was with his bat at the Everest Cricket Club ground yesterday in the Regional Super50 tournament.
His heroics aided the Jamaicans to an overwhelming 134-run victory in the match that was reduced to 37 overs after a soaked outfield held up play yesterday morning. Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), winning the toss and sending Jamaica in to bat, must be ruing their decision as Jamaica piled on a mammoth 259-3.
The currently sidelined left-hander unleashed his fury against the CCC team in a masterful display of power and patience. Gayle took 110 balls to score 147, which included 11 fours and eight towering sixes.
Added to that, Gayle shared in a 175-run third wicket stance with Xavier Marshall, who was at times equally devastating, against the seemingly ordinary bowling attack. The aggressive Marshall made an unbeaten 52. He brought up his 50 with a four when he plastered a Ryan Austin delivery through the fingers of Ryan Wiggins at midoff.
Danza Hyatt also made a quick 35 as the Jamaicans controlled every aspect of the day’s play. The pair played each delivery on merit, placing the college boys in the unflattering position of waiting for something to happen. This pressure also resulted in some sloppy ground fielding.
Gayle was especially menacing after he reached the 100-run mark, treating right arm fast medium pacer Jason Dawes with disdain for two consecutive overs. Dawes’ penultimate over yielded 20 runs and his ninth over 25 runs, making the bowler the other centurion of the day as he ended with 1-104 from nine overs.
In reply CCC’s Ryan Wiggins undefeated 52 was not enough to challenge Jamaica’s score and they finished on 125-5. Pacer Krishmar Santokie was the main wicket taker with 2-16 from his six overs.
The college boys were bogged down and most times were unable to pierce the 30-yard circle. There was not much to shout about after Gayle’s onslaught but Wiggins scored two impressive boundaries before their innings fizzled out.
Meanwhile, today the action returns to Group A with Guyana Playing Barbados at Blairmont Community Centre ground and Sagicor High Performance Centre taking on the Windward Islands at Everest.