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April 3, 2000
Kingston - Alison Hinds' voice kept emanating from the speakers in the electrifying Mound Stand with the phrase: 'Are you there.'
If you weren't, you missed one of the most brutal and belligerent displays by two young Jamaican batsmen amidst unrestrained celebrations from 14 000 of their countrymen.
Sabina Park once more took on a Carnival-like atmosphere, especially for one exhilarating hour when Wavell Hinds and Chris Gayle destroyed Zimbabwe's bowling with the type of fury of the hurricane that devastated Jamaica 12 years ago.
The 23-year-old Hinds, taking advantage of a promotion in the order, was the initial aggressor and was unbeaten on 116 off 125 balls when the West Indies relieved Zimbabwe from their misery with the total 280 for three.
Gayle, age 20, provided even more fireworks in a whirlwind unbeaten 58 off 45 balls that prompted the similar type of whistle-blowing, flag-waving and Mexican waving that had engulfed the ground the day before.
By then, the match was virtually finished as a contest and the place never generated the same excitement and intensity in a Zimbabwe innings that never seriously mounted a challenge.
The tourists, pegged back by Curtly Ambrose's mean ten overs that cost 19 runs and Reon King's three successive maidens at the start and three wickets later, finished their 50 overs on 239 for eight, 41 behind the West Indies' highest total in eight One-Day Internationals against their African opponents.
The second successive defeat for Zimbabwe has left them in a must-win situation for their next match in the tri-nation series against Pakistan at the Antigua Recreation Ground on Wednesday.
The pattern for the West Indies' innings was almost identical to the previous day, but Hinds and Gayle corrected what went wrong on Saturday during the final ten overs.
In the first match, the West Indies reached 181 for two after 40 overs, but lost seven wickets for 56 in the last ten. Yesterday, there were no such problems in the happy hour when Hinds and Gayle clobbered exactly 100 runs from the final 60 balls.
Captain Jimmy Adams' run out for 41 off 54 balls from another direct throw by Stuart Carlisle would have brought back memories of the first match when the West Indies were plagued by four run-outs.
But, those would have been out of everyone's minds when Hinds and Gayle plundered the bowling and put so much pressure on Zimbabwe that their fielding was not of the impeccable standard they had set on this tour.
On another day, Hinds might have been caught by Grant Flower running back from mid-wicket when he was 82 or by Gary Brent coming off the deep backward square boundary when he was 96.
The latter was a miss that allowed Hinds to reach his hundred and he immediately punched the air with more force and aggression that is not even common among heavy-weight boxing champions.
He had justifiable reason to do so.
Sent in at his accustomed No. 3 position in place of Gayle, he responded with an innings that became more of a joy to watch as it progressed.
His runs were made in all directions, but he was especially more enter-taining when he was driving through the covers, down the ground or on the pull.
By the time Gayle joined him in the 36th over, Hinds had just passed his 50 and the two left-handers scored at about the same rate throughout their partnership of 125 off 91 balls.
It included two big sixes, the first lifted by Hinds off Grant Flower's left-arm spin and the second hit high and hard by Gayle over long-off off Henry Olonga.
Gayle needed a couple balls to adjust to the pitch and the bowling, but once he did so, no one could contain him and his 58 came off only 45 balls and included five fours.
Zimbabwe might have been encouraged when they removed openers Sherwin Campbell and Philo Wallace within seven runs after the Barbadians had posted a half-century stand in quick time.
The optimism was prompted by Brent's introduction. He came on to bowl his medium-pace after 11 overs and bowled Campbell with a ball that had neither the line nor length to necessitate a steer to third-man.
Wallace still appeared to be struggling for form and after a few meaty blows, he was bowled by Brent playing across the line in a manner that was similar to his dismissal of the previous day.
Zimbabwe lost their openers after the early pressure against Ambrose and King before Carlisle and Murray Goodwin again featured in their second successive significant partnership.
Carlisle and Goodwin put on 47 for the third wicket, but by the time Goodwin was bowled by Franklyn Rose, the asking rate had climbed to more than seven runs an over.
Captain Andy Flower arrived to effortlessly compile 52 off 54 balls, but it was too little much too late.
King was the one who broke the middle order with the scalps of Carlisle, who hit a catch down the throat of mid-off and Dirk Viljoen, a victim to an edged catch at first slip in the same over.
Even though Rose and Mervyn Dillon were expensive, the West Indies had no cause for concern, thanks to Hinds and Gayle.
Facts of the match:
Details on the second One-Day International yesterday:
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