'It was important to spend time out there' - Gayle lists key elements in Tallawahs win over Trinbago Knight Riders
Captain Chris Gayle says remaining at the crease for as long as he possibly could was one of the main goals contributing to his unbeaten century, which led Jamaica Tallawahs to a seven-wicket win over Trinbago Knight Riders in the HERO Caribbean Premier League T20 cricket match at Queen's Park Oval on Monday night.
Gayle, in scoring 108 not out for his 18th century in the shortest format of the sport, belted 11 sixes and six fours during his 54-ball knock, which rocketed Jamaica to 192 for three off 18.2 overs after the defending champions had posted 191 for four off their allotted 20.
"I did not get any momentum in the first six overs, but at the same time I knew that I still needed to be there,'' stated the opening batsman, who got two chances early in his innings.
Trinbago's Pakistan wicketkeeper, Umar Akmal, missed a stumping chance off the bowling of off-spinner Sunil Narine in the second over, while Gayle was on four; and three overs later he was dropped at point by substitute fielder Anton Devcich, while on five.
''It was important to spend time out there in the middle and get the rest of guys to try and bat around me, like how (Andre) Russell came in and played a crucial part and eventually we got a fantastic win.''
Russell, promoted up the batting order to number four after the Tallawahs were struggling at 69 for two off 9.3 overs - following the dismissal of Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara for 20 - went on to share a 108-run third-wicket stand with Gayle. He was dismissed for 24 off 18 balls, with 3.1 overs remaining.
Emerging 22-year-old Jamaican all-rounder, Rovman Powell, who hit a four and a straight six off successive deliveries to end the match, was the other not out batsman, scoring 12 off six balls.
Man of the Match Gayle also explained that playing Narine carefully, as well as not allowing left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn to settle, were key moments.
Narine ended with superb economical figures of one wicket for nine runs off his maximum four overs, while Benn was thumped for 30 runs off his solitary over.
"In the first six overs they bowled really well at us and we were actually at a stage where we tried not to panic," said Gayle.
"Narine was very much the key bowler for them and he played his part, but eventually we knew we could target the rest of bowlers, which we did.
"Sulieman Benn could have also played a big part. Those were key moments in the game that one had to work out and analyse as much as possible.''
Gayle had scored 55 last weekend in the team's first game against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, which Jamaica won by five runs.
The Tallawahs, with the victory over the Knight Riders, moved to the top of the points table on net run rate over the Guyana Amazon Warriors, who they are scheduled to play tomorrow in Guyana. Both teams have four points from two victories.
H Amla c wkp Sangakkara b Williams 74
B McCullum b Imad Wasim 35
C Munro c wkp Sangakkara b Steyn 55
*DJ Bravo not out 10
J Searles run out 8
Extras (lb4, w5) 9
TOTAL (4 wkts, 20 overs) 191
Did not bat: DM Bravo, K Cooper, S Narine, +Umar Akmal, R Beaton, S Benn
Fall of wickets: 1-49, 2-152, 3-180, 4-191.
Bowling: Imad Wasim 3-0-18-1, Shakib al Hasan 2-0-26-0, Steyn 4-0-56-1 (w2), Williams 4-0-34-1, Powell 4-0-27-0 (w1), Jaggesar 3-0-26-0.
C Walton run out 13
*C Gayle not out 108
+K Sangakkara b Narine 20
A Russell c McCullum b DJ Bravo 24
R Powell not out 12
Extras (lb1, w13, nb1) 15
TOTAL (3 wkts, 18.2 overs) 192
Did not bat: Shakib Al Hasan, Imad Wasim, A McCarthy, D Steyn, K Williams, J Jaggesar.
Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-69, 3-177.
Bowling: Beaton 3.2-0-39-0 (nb1), Narine 4-0-9-1 (w2), Cooper 4-0-43-0 (w2), DJ Bravo 4-0-35-1 (w1), Searles 2-0-35-0 (w2), Benn 1-0-30-0 (w2).
Result: Tallawahs won by seven wickets.
Points: Tallawahs 2, TKR 0.
Man of the Match: Chris Gayle.
Umpires: Z Bassarath, P Gustard
TV umpire: J Cloete.