Chris Gayle, the destructive West Indies opener, was at his blistering best as he hammered a century to take the Jamaica Tallawahs to a seven-wicket victory over the St. Lucia Zouks in the twenty over tournament , the Caribbean Premier League , at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada on Saturday.
Gayle took the St.Lucia bowling attack apart as he made 111 in 63 balls and remained not out at the end in a chase of 162 runs. The aggressive left-hander, wearing sunglasses when batting, was as usual the centre of attention as he hammered five fours and a whopping ten sixes.
He began his fearsome assault in the third over when he cleared long on with a six off Garey Mathurin. He then proceeded to dish out the same treatment to spinner Shane Shillingford in the fifth over. Jamaica Tallawahs' had earlier lost opener CAK Walton for 23 to St.Lucia's Pakistani import Sohail Tanvir. Walton's dismissal brought Jermaine Blackwood to the crease.
He reached his 50 off a mere 30 deliveries by hammering left-spinner Roelof van der Merwe for a six. This was the West Indian opener's sixth six. All this while he had Jermaine Blackwood for company. In a second wicket stand of 64 runs Blackwood's contribution was 8 runs, such was Gayle's impact. In the 12th over Shillingford scalped Blackwood off the first ball with the score at 96 for 2.
Gayle was on 99 runs as the 19th over started. By then he had been in a 55-run stand with Australian Adam Voges. He then scored his first hundred in the CPL with a single. A couple of deliveries later Voges got out. Gayle ensured it would be smooth sailing for his team as he levelled scores with a boundary and a six. He then proceeded to win the match with a single, according to ESPNCricinfo.
Earlier, St.Lucia Zouks, skippered by Darren Sammy, had registered a score of 161 for the loss of 5 wickets. South African Henry Davids top-scored for them as he made 56 off 38 deliveries. There were useful contributions from West Indian medium pacer Andre Fletcher and opener Johnson Charles. Both Fletcher and Charles made 27 runs each.
Darren Sammy's 29 then took his team to 161. Andre Fletcher was the best bowler for St.Lucia Zouks as he ended up with figures of two for 27. In the end however Chris Gayle's thundering hundred was too much for them.