Gayle marauds Ireland
West Indies 134 for 1 (Gayle 88*) beat Ireland 130 for 7 (Bray 30, Benn 2-24) by 9 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary
Chris Gayle took the opportunity against Ireland to showcase his power as he led West Indies to a comfortable victory in their warm-up match at The Oval. Chasing a below-par total of 130, Gayle hammered an unbeaten 88 off only 56 balls and West Indies achieved their target with nine wickets in hand and four overs to spare.
Gayle treated the fans to seven sixes, most of which were smashed straight down the ground or over the leg-side boundary. He didn't bother much with singles, hitting six fours to go with his sixes, and the rest of the batsmen only had to stick around while the captain got the job done. Andre Fletcher was the only wicket to fall, top-edging his first ball against Kyle McCallan's left-arm spin to short third man. Ramnaresh Sarwan played a steady hand, remaining unbeaten on 25 off 23 balls.
Their opponents may have been Ireland but Gayle said it was important nevertheless. "It's good to get a couple of wins [after the tough tour of England]," he said. "It doesn't matter that it was against Ireland. We're hoping to keep the momentum going into the first game against Australia."
While Ireland's bowlers were largely helpless against a marauding Gayle, their captain William Porterfield was more upset with the batting their effort, ruing the fact that nobody converted their starts into substantial scores. "We let ourselves down with the bat, not getting as many as we should have," Porterfield said. "We have to improve and put more partnerships together. We have to learn how to put that total together, score off as many balls as you can."
Five of the top six batsmen got into double figures but Jeremy Bray's 30 was the top score. Sulieman Benn picked up 2 for 24 while both Dwayne Bravo and Fidel Edwards bowled economically to restrict Ireland to only 130.
George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo