<
>

Victory against Zimbabwe 'a big relief' - Gayle

Chris Gayle pulls during his half century DigicelCricket.com/Brooks LaTouche Photography

West Indies' four-wicket win in the second ODI against Zimbabwe was their first victory in an international match since August last year. Chris Gayle, the captain, called the series-levelling victory "a big relief" and hoped "this is the first of many to come."

Half-centuries from Gayle and Narsingh Deonarine helped West Indies overhaul Zimbabwe's total of 206. Gayle top scored with 88 from 111 balls, including seven fours and two sixes, while Deonarine supported him with 65 not out from 85 balls. The victory helped West Indies draw level in the five-match series, after Zimbabwe won the opener on Thursday at the same venue.

Gayle, though, was all praise for the opposition. Zimbabwe appeared in control of the match after the hosts slipped to 85 for 4 in the 26th over. Like in the first ODI, spinners were again at the forefront, before Deonarine paired up with Gayle.

"I must commend Zimbabwe about the way they have gone about their business in this series," Gayle said. "They have played some good cricket, and they have put us under a lot of pressure. It wasn't an easy game, but I am happy that we rebounded, and we won this game. Hopefully, we can carry on for the remainder of the series."

After Zimbabwe chose to bat, the visitors were dismantled by Nikita Miller, who took a career-best 4 for 43, and Kemar Roach (3 for 37). Despite Elton Chigumbura's half-century, they could only manage 206. "We probably came up a little short on the batting side," said Prosper Utseya, the Zimbabwe captain. "We never got a partnership up front, and we kept losing wickets at key moments, so that's why we were about 20 runs short of setting a decent target."

However, he was pleased with the bowling effort. "We just believed that if we could keep bowling in partnerships, we could upset them," Utseya said. "The ball started to turn [for our spinners], and it was also keeping low. But we just did not have enough runs on the board to keep up the pressure."

The teams will play the remaining three ODIs in St Vincent on March 10, 12, and 14.