Gayle strikes maiden CPL ton in Tallawahs win
Jamaica Tallawahs 162 for 3 (Gayle 111*) beat St Lucia Zouks 161 for 5 (Davids 56, Russell 2-27) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Chris Gayle may have struggled through IPL 2014 with 196 runs in nine games, modest figures for his lofty standards, but his poor form in India was a distant memory in Grenada on Saturday as he feasted on a tame St Lucia Zouks bowling attack to score an unbeaten 111 in a seven-wicket win for the Jamaica Tallawahs. Zouks captain Darren Sammy won the toss and elected to bat first, setting a target of 162 but Man-of-the-Match Gayle made easy work of the chase for the defending Caribbean Premier League champions, overhauling the target with an over to spare.
Gayle's carefree demeanour was on display as he arrived at the crease sporting sunglasses underneath his helmet. Based on the evidence of his innings, the trend-setting Jamaican might influence a few more cricketers to wear them while batting after clubbing five fours and 10 sixes in his innings which lasted 63 balls. After getting off the mark with a single, he launched Garey Mathurin over long-on for six in the third over and gave a rude welcome to Shane Shillingford to start the fifth with a near carbon copy blast down the ground.
He brought up his 50 off 30 balls in the ninth over by crushing left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe for his sixth six flat and hard into the signage beyond the boundary at long-off. The landmark came up during a 64-run second-wicket stand with Jermaine Blackwood, in which Blackwood contributed eight runs. Blackwood fell off the first ball of the 12th to Shillingford to make it 96 for 2 but the wicket the Zouks needed to turn the match their way eluded their grasp.
Gayle began the 19th over on 99, having added another half-century stand with Adam Voges, and brought up the first century in the CPL with a single to mid-on. After Voges fell two balls later, Gayle hastened the charge to victory with a four and six over midwicket to level the scores, before flicking a single through the same region to finish the match.
Henry Davids scored 56 off 38 for the Zouks earlier in the day, forming a solid 69-run second-wicket partnership with Andre Fletcher (27). Davids received good support earlier from Johnson Charles (27) as well before falling with the score on 110.
Captain Sammy came to the crease and provide a strong finish for the Zouks with 29 not out that led the team to 161 for 5. Andre Russell took 2 for 27 for the Tallawahs in the field. The Zouks performance was comfortably stronger than either of the previous two totals posted by the Tridents and Hawksbills batting first in the opening round of games played at the National Cricket Stadium. By the end of the day it was no match for another history-making feat by Gayle.