Cricket

Chris Gayle storms to sink South Africa

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A Chris Gayle inspired West Indies recorded their first win on their tour of South Africa. Resting many of their key players ahead of the upcoming One Day series, South Africa won the toss and chose to bat.

Only one player remained from the side that started the last Test match, that was Faf du Plessis, captaining his side, he hit 38 off 20 as the hosts struggled to score quickly with openers Reeza Hendricks (12) and Morne van Wyk (17) failing to threaten the Windies bowlers.

Andre Russell then picked up the key wicket of du Plessis but could do nothing about the blossoming partnership between Rilee Rossouw and David Miller, the two youngster put on a stand of 48 together before Miller was dismissed for 24, Sheldon Cottrell taking his second victim.

Scoring rate

The hosts then upped their scoring rate as the innings neared a conclusion, Rossouw passed fifty (51* off 40) whilst Farhaan Behardien blasted 18* off 12 to take their side to 164/8.

On average, South Africa's total is above par at Newlands, but that statistic may not take into account the pure power that the West Indies lineup possesses. The big names were back in the side and Chris Gayle was the standout player once again.

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Golden oldie

The 35-year old set up his side's victory with an incredible 77 runs off just 31 balls, reaching his fifty in a new West Indian record of just 17 balls. However, it would not be a second T20 hundred against South Africa for Gayle, who, like his opening partner Dwayne Smith, were dismissed by Imran Tahir (3-28) trying to reverse sweep.

Marlon Samuels, off the back of an excellent Test series on a personal level, was in at three and again impressed, scoring 41 off 30 before top edging a Tahir delivery, handing the South African his third wicket.

The collapse

Seemingly cruising with Gayle and Samuels at the crease, the tourists began to collapse, Dwayne Bravo (eight), Andre Russell (six) and Denesh Ramdin (two) fell cheaply but thanks to the early work from Gayle there were still plenty of opportunities to get over the line and they did so with Kieron Pollard hitting a four to secure a four-wicket victory with four deliveries to spare.

The second games in the three match series on January 11 and there is a good chance that South Africa may tinker with their line up a little, no such problems for the West Indies, with Gayle in decent nick they needn't worry about their middle order, but it would be frightening to think what this team could be capable of if all were on song.

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Topics:
South Africa cricket
Chris Gayle
West Indies cricket
Cricket

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