Brilliant Gayle, Samuels give West Indies 2-0 lead

July 8th, 2012 - 5:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Kingston (Jamaica), July 8 (IANS/CMC) Chris Gayle struck a record-breaking 20th One-Day International century while Marlon Samuels hammered his first in six years as the West Indies brushed aside hapless New Zealand by 55 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series here Saturday.

Sent in at Sabina Park in the second of two matches at the venue, the West Indies piled up 315 for five off their 50 overs, with Gayle smashing a typically stroke-filled 125 and Jamaican counterpart Samuels getting an unbeaten 101.

In reply, New Zealand faltered from a position of 121 for two to 260 all out, to lose their fourth straight match in the series following on from their dismal performance in the Twenty20 series last weekend.

BJ. Watling stroked an attacking, unbeaten 72 and captain Kane Williamson (59) and the experienced Martin Guptill (51) gathered half-centuries but the target proved beyond their capabilities.

Fast bowler Ravi Rampaul led the West Indies attack with three for 50 while beguiling off-spinner Sunil Narine (2-45) and part-time off-spinner Samuels (2-46), provided support with a brace of wickets apiece.

The victory was, however, set up by Gayle who took centre stage before his home crowd in another well-paced innings at the top of the order to guide the Windies.

He hit eight fours and nine sixes off 107 balls to register his first ODI century in three years and surpass legendary batsman Brian Lara for the most centuries in one-day cricket by a West Indian.

The innings represented the fourth time in five innings Gayle has gone past fifty since his return to the West Indies colours last month, following a lengthy stand-off with the West Indies Cricket Board.

Samuels, meanwhile, extended his superb form that started on the tour of England as he carved out his third ODI century and his first-ever three figure score in international cricket in the Caribbean.

The right-hander faced 103 balls and struck seven fours and one six.

He and Gayle added 129 for the third wicket in a rollicking stand that put the Windies course for their eventual total.

With the early damage done, it was left to their bowlers to complete the job.

They got Nicol for 15 with the score on 24 in the sixth over to a catch at mid-wicket by Sammy off Rampaul and Narine claimed Flynn for 21 at 62 for two to a sharp catch at slip by Dwayne Bravo in the 12th over.

Two partnerships then briefly threatened the Windies’ march to victory.

Guptill, who hit five fours off 81 balls, put on 59 for the third wicket with Williamson whose knock came from 65 balls with four fours and six.

When Samuels claimed Guptill and Tom Latham (2) in successive overs to leave the Kiwis on 125 for four in the 28th over, Watling joined Williamson to add a further 70 for the fifth wicket.

Wiliamson was lbw on review to Rampaul in the 37th over but Watling played superbly to the end, striking four fours and two sixes off just 62 balls.

–IANS/CMC
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