Gayle blasts Queensland out of Big Bash
Western Australia 202 for 4 (Gayle 92, Davis 53) beat Queensland 170 for 5 (Reardon 56, Lewis 2-39) by 32 runs
A brutal display of Big Bash batting from West Indian Chris Gayle has lifted the Warriors to an easy 32-run win over Queensland at the Gabba - eliminating the Bulls from the competition.
On a night where the focus of the crowd was on how much would be raised for the Queensland Flood Appeal - a local brewery pledged $500 for each four and $1000 for each six - Gayle stepped up to the plate with a sensational 92 off just 40 balls, raising $11,500 along the way off his own bat with seven boundaries and eight sixes, including the biggest of the summer at 120 metres.
It was an innings of sheer brutality as he punished short, length and full deliveries, peppering the long on boundary with his powerful drives.
He was well supported by pocket rocket Liam Davis (53 off 46) with the pair putting on 144 for the opening partnership off just 12.5 overs. Despite the middle order stumbling, the visitors still managed to crack 200, with Luke Ronchi (22 off 17) and Tom Beaton (21 off 10) finding the boundaries late.
The total looked too big for Queensland, a side that lacks the sheer brutality with the bat that other states possess. It proved to be so as they fell well behind the required rate in the middle overs, despite the best efforts of Michael Lumb (42 off 33) and Nathan Reardon (56 off 45).
The game was in stark contrast to the one the previous night at the same venue, with bat dominating ball on a more tame Gabba pitch - noticeably flatter the second time around.
Western Australia will now face Tasmania on Thursday at Bellerive - the winner will go into the preliminary final with the possibility of hosting it should the Bulls pull off an unlikely win over the Blues on Saturday night.
Andrew Fuss is a freelance writer based in Adelaide