Easterns v West Indians, Benoni, 1st day January 9, 2004

Gayle hundred boosts West Indies

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Close Easterns 30 for 2 trail West Indians 334 (Gayle 145) by 304 runs

Chris Gayle: 145 off 140 balls
© Getty Images

Chris Gayle carried on where he left off in the third Test against South Africa as he blazed his way to 145 off 140 balls on the opening day of the West Indians' tour match against Easterns. Gayle's innings, along with contributions from the lower order, helped West Indies to 334 before Easterns closed on 30 for 2.

Gayle, who was dropped at second slip on 7, led the way, smashing 17 fours and five sixes in his murderous innings against an inexperienced bowling attack. He motored along at over a run a ball until, with a score of 150 in his sights, he was caught by Albie Morkel off the bowling of Pierre de Bruyn.

Gayle earlier put on a quick opening stand of 76 with Daren Ganga, but, as usual, Gayle scored the bulk of the runs. Ganga had made 10 when he edged Morkel behind to Dylan Jennings, the wicketkeeper (76 for 1).

Ramnaresh Sarwan hit a couple of handsome cover-drives before he was caught off Zander de Bruyn for 12 (138 for 2), and Shivnarine Chanderpaul made a dismal return from injury with only 2 when he was trapped lbw by Jacob Malao (150 for 3).

Baugh, named as the wicketkeeper even though Ridley Jacobs was included in the team, took a leaf out of Gayle's book with 36 from 34 balls, including six fours and a six, before he was caught by Morkel (199 for 4). Jacobs didn't hang about either, bashing 17 from 16 balls, and Vasbert Drakes (15) and Dave Mohammed (19) both chipped in with valuable contributions down the order.

Adam Sanford and Ravi Rampaul added a further 40 to boost the total past 300, and Sanford then shone with the ball, striking twice before the close to give West Indies the edge.