Jamaica v Leeward Islands, Carib Beer finals, 2nd day March 20, 2005

Gayle force puts Jamaica on top

Cricinfo staff

Jamaica 357 for 8 (Gayle 131, Samuels 58) lead Leeward Islands 180 by 177 runs

Chris Gayle was in awesome form on the second day of the Carib Beer final © Getty Images

Chris Gayle gave the West Indian fans a glimpse of what they might be missing out on in the first Test against South Africa, scoring a superb 131 to put Jamaica on top in the Carib Beer final against Leeward Islands at St Elizabeth. Resuming at 94 for 1, Jamaica closed the second day on 357 for 8, a first-innings lead of 177.

Gayle, who has been dropped from the West Indian squad due to the ongoing contracts controversy, played the main hand for Jamaica, hitting 15 fours and a six in his 244-ball stay. He did receive one chance, though, when Ridley Jacobs missed a stumping opportunity off Omari Banks. Gayle was then on 60, and he made the Leewards pay for the lapse. He got fine support from Marlon Samuels, who made 58 from 125 balls, and Donovan Pagon (42).

Jamaica went into tea on a commanding 269 for 2, but lost their way somewhat as Leewards fought back with six wickets in the final session. Banks took three of those, including the wicket of Gayle. Adam Sanford then nailed Carlton Baugh and Gareth Breese cheaply, but with a mammoth first-innings lead already in the bag, Jamaica finished the day well on top.