Kingston, Jamaica: After all his exploits in the T20s in the past one year, it had been quite a while since Chris Gayle hit an ODI century. It's the same ground where he scored his last ton against New Zealand a year ago. And just like that 107-ball 125 on July 2012, Gayle this time pummelled the Sri Lankan bowlers, scoring 109 off 100 balls. If in that innings he smacked eight fours and nine sixes, then in this one he smashed nine fours and seven maximums.
After playing another swashbuckling knock that helped West Indies to an easy six-wicket win over Sri Lanka, Gayle was relieved to have got some runs under his belt. "It has been a while since I got an ODI century. The last time I got a century was against New Zealand at this venue last year. The important thing is we got the win," Gayle said after the match.
Before Friday's match, Gayle had scores of 39, 21, 36 while playing at the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy and the 33-year-old said the conditions in England and here were completely different but he adjusted to it as it's his home ground. "I am playing at home and that is why I adjusted to the conditions well," he said, adding that West Indies are ready to play the new Champions Trophy winners, India. "We are looking forward to the game against India."
Coming out of a lean patch in ODIs by his standards, Gayle came out all guns blazing, scoring a blistering century against Sri Lanka.
West Indies skipper Dwayne Bravo lauded the efforts of all his players. "It was a fantastic team effort. [Kemar] Roach, [Ravi] Rampaul set it up and [Sunil] Narine bowled well in the middle overs. Gayle batted wonderfully. In the 29th over, we sent a message to Gayle that we need to win the game with a bonus point," he said.
Bravo also praised Narine, who took 4 for 40 in his ten overs - including the wickets of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara - that restricted Sri Lanka to just 208. "Narine is the mystery bowler and I am lucky to have him in the team," Bravo added.
Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lankan skipper, termed the wicket two-paced which flattened out in the second innings. "The wicket was moist and two-paced. It was a special knock from Chris Gayle and our bowlers had no answer. We kept losing wickets at regular intervals and Mahela Jayawardene batted superbly. The wicket flattened out towards the end and we were over-reliant on Lasith Malinga. When Gayle gets going, no bowling attack can stop him. We have to play catch-up again and we will look to win the remaining games."
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