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Chris Gayle batters Sri Lanka with double century

First Test, Galle (day one, close):
West Indies 362-2 v Sri Lanka

Match scorecard

Chris Gayle
Gayle produced a dazzling exhibition of strokeplay in his 13th Test hundred

Opener Chris Gayle hit a brilliant unbeaten double century as West Indies dominated day one of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

The 31-year-old, who recently lost the captaincy to Darren Sammy, hit eight sixes and 26 fours in his 219 not out.

He shared stands of 110 and 196 with Adrian Barath (50) and Darren Bravo (58) as West Indies piled up 362-2.

Suraj Randiv and Ajantha Mendis took a wicket each but Sri Lanka badly missed the retired Muttiah Muralitharan.

Test cricket's most prolific wicket-taker turned his back on the five-day form of the game in July, leaving Mendis and Randiv to shoulder the spin bowling burden.

And although the pair got through a combined total of 58 overs during the day, Randiv, in particular, was unable to contain Gayle, conceding runs at more than four and a half per over to finish with figures of 1-141.

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West Indies had reason for apprehension before the start, having lost half of their previous 20 Tests and won only once - against England in Jamaica early last year.

There were no signs of nerves, however, after Sammy won the toss and elected to bat as Gayle and Barath rattled along on a pitch which offered very little for seamers Thilan Thusara and Dammika Prasad.

Barath, who was dropped on 35, fell shortly before lunch when he edged a ball from Randiv to Mahela Jayawardene at slip, but the afternoon session was even tougher for the home side as 21-year-old Bravo, the younger brother of all-rounder Dwayne, produced a mature display in his first Test innings.

When Gayle was on 65, he was given not out after a leg-before appeal from Mendis, a decision upheld by the third umpire when Sri Lanka called for a referral with video replays showing a clear inside edge on to the pad.

And he encountered few problems thereafter as he went to his 13th century with his fifth six, struck over long-off off Randiv, prompting a joyous celebration which involved him waving his bat while lying full length on the floor.

Both batsmen were later dropped off successive deliveries from Randiv but a rush of blood eventually cost Bravo his wicket, caught in the deep by Thilan Samaraweera when he top-edged a pull shot off Mendis, but veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul saw Gayle past 200 as they shared an unbroken half-century partnership before the close.

Gayle's score became the second highest of his Test career when he went past the 204 he made against New Zealand in Antigua in 2002.

"He is a devastating batsman when he gets going and today was his day," Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss commented.

"Thankfully, there are four days of the Test still to go. If we play well for those four days, we have a chance of winning."

However, Gayle insisted he had not finished with the Sri Lankan bowlers as he set his sights on surpassing his 317 against South Africa in Antigua five years ago.

"I'd love that - that would be another milestone," he said.

"Three teams I didn't get centuries against were Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India. Coming here, I was definitely looking forward to it and eventually I got it.

"I'm happy and pleased to bat right through the day, and I'll be back tomorrow."



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see also
West Indies sack Gayle as captain
17 Oct 10 |  West Indies


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