Award delights Gayle
MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC):
West Indies captain Chris Gayle said Friday he was delighted after being named as one of the winners of ESPN Cricinfo awards for 2009.
The 30-year-old opener, considered one of the game's most devastating batsmen, captured the award for the best Twenty20 International innings when he blasted 88 off 50 balls in the opening match of the World T20 Championship against Australia in England last year.
He was joined by fast bowler Jerome Taylor who took the award for the Best Bowling Performance in a Test Innings for his outstanding spell of five for 11 off nine overs against England last year at Sabina Park.
"I remember my innings quite well. It was one of those things where, as a batter, you just go with the flow and express yourself to the fullest," Gayle reminisced.
"We were up against a good team and they had a strong bowling line-up. To get that kind of innings was quite pleasing. It helped us to win the match and we went on to do pretty well in the tournament, reaching the semi-finals."
Gayle smashed six fours and six sixes in a stunning innings at the Oval in London, and shared 133 for the first wicket with Andre Fletcher who got 53.
The effort propelled the Windies to a spectacular seven-wicket win with 25 balls to spare and laid the basis for a robust campaign which saw them reach as far as the semi-finals before bowing out.
"I was batting with Andre Fletcher and he was giving good support so we decided to go for our shots ... especially in T20 cricket, you have to back yourself and your instincts," Gayle said.
"I want to thank all my team-mates and members of the team who supported me."
Taylor, meanwhile, was also hailed for his performance which fired West Indies to an innings and 23-run victory in the first Test and helped them recapture the Wisden Trophy for the first time in 10 years.
"I also want to congratulate Jerome on his award. It was a great bowling performance and did a lot for the team and the people of the West Indies that day," Gayle said.