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Jayawardene upstages fiery Gayle

Published:Monday | April 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM

KOLKATA, India (CMC):

West Indies captain Chris Gayle smashed a whirlwind 88 but was upstaged by Sri Lankan stroke-maker Mahela Jayawar-dene who fashioned an extraordinary, unbeaten century to propel Kings XI Punjab to a stunning eight-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders yesterday.

Gayle's knock, which lifted Kolkata to 200 for three, seemed to have won it for Eden Gardens until Jayawardene produced a typically classy 110 not out to ease Kings XI to 204 for two with 10 balls left to spare in the Indian Premier League.

Winning the toss and opting to bat, Gayle and captain Sourav Ganguly gave Kolkata a breezy start by posting 56 from 44 balls.

ERRATIC FORM

The left-handed Gayle, whose form has been erratic, smashed six fours and eight sixes off 42 balls. Ganguly's 36 in contrast was measured, requiring 31 balls and containing five fours and a six.

When he was caught and bowled by Ravi Bopara in the eighth over, Gayle dominated a 50-ball, 101-run second-wicket stand with Manoj Tiwary who scored 35 from 32 balls.

The Jamaican smashed four successive sixes off the hapless Bopara in the 13th over of the innings which cost an amazing 33 runs.

Jayawardene, who counted 14 fours and three sixes off just 59 balls, then shared a serious of crucial partnerships to steer Kings XI to victory.

He dominated a rousing first-wicket stand of 51 from 29 balls with Manvinder Bisla (18), posted another 98 from 53 balls for the second wicket with countryman Kumar Sangakkara (38) and then an unbroken 55 for the third wicket with Yuvraj Singh who finished on 33 off 16 balls.