Gayle fireworks stun Zouks in CPL T20
GROS ISLET, St Lucia (CMC):
Chris Gayle's spectacular unbeaten 90 blew away St Lucia Zouks and fired Jamaica Tallawahs to their first win of the 2015 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) here Sunday.
Tallawahs restricted Zouks to a paltry 118 for nine off their 20 overs and then raced to their target off a mere 10 overs, to complete a convincing 10-wicket victory at the Beausejour Cricket Stadium.
The left-handed Gayle was at the forefront of the triumph, imposing himself on the Zouks attack with six fours and nine sixes in an innings consuming a mere 36 deliveries.
Such was his assault, he easily overshadowed opening partner Chadwick Walton, who finished on a run-a-ball 25 not out with two fours and a six.
Tallawah's victory was set up, however, by South African seamer Rusty Theron (3-19) and Jamaican left-arm pacer Krishmar Santokie (3-24), while fast-bowler Jerome Taylor took two for 17.
Opener Johnson Charles continued his good form with 29 and Englishman Kevin Pietersen got 26, but no other Zouks batsman made it past 14, as the hosts lost their last seven wickets for 24 runs.
Sent in, Zouks prospered as Charles and AndrÈ Fletcher (14) put on 39 from 34 balls for the first wicket. While Charles gathered five fours off 24 deliveries, Fletcher struggled to get the ball away in a 17-ball knock that included one four.
Charles departed in the sixth over, bowled by a full-length one from Taylor and Fletcher followed 11 balls later, brilliantly caught one-handed by veteran New Zealander Daniel Vettori at midwicket in Theron's first over.
Kyle Mayers made 13 from 14 deliveries before holing out in the deep off left-arm spinner Nikita Miller at 67 for three in the 11th over.
Pietersen arrived to strike a four and a six off 25 balls in adding a cautious 27 from 26 deliveries for the fourth wicket with Ross Taylor (8) in a stand that seemed to be setting up the innings for a late charge.
However, once Theron removed both in his third over, the 16th of the innings, Zouks went into decline and never recovered.
Gayle then negated any lingering ideas of a Zouks comeback, with an exhilarating innings.
Attacking from the outset, he launched a ferocious assault on the Zouks bowlers, racing to his half-century off just 19 balls.
He signalled his intentions from the opening over which went for 12, hitting speedster Shannon Gabriel straight for four and then over midwicket for six.
The second over, sent down by pacer Fidel Edwards, leaked 18 runs and Gayle plundered another 15 runs from the following over, as Tallawahs sped to 45 without loss.
Only 14 runs came from the next two overs, but Gayle opened up again in the sixth over, slamming seamer Kemar Roach for two sixes - the second of which raised his 50.
With Gayle hitting everything cleanly, it became only a matter of when Tallawahs would win and the Jamaican star ended the run chase in style - bludgeoning three sixes and a four from off-spinner Liam Sebastien's first over, which cost 23 runs - to take his side over the line.
Zouks remain second on five points after four games, one behind leaders Barbados Tridents. Tallawahs are third on two points, ahead of St Kitts and Nevis Patriots only on net run rate.