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Gayle missing, but WA win

Published:Wednesday | January 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

PERTH, Australia (CMC):

In Chris Gayle's absence, opener Shaun Marsh slammed the first century of the Twenty20 Big Bash to catapult struggling Western Australia (WA) to a comprehensive 127-run victory over New South Wales (NSW) in a must-win encounter at the WACA yesterday.

Gayle was ruled out of the game with his troublesome side pull, but it proved of little consequence as his usual opening partner Marsh belted an unbeaten 108 from 58 balls, to lay the platform for Western Australia's win that kept them in the competition.

First wicket

The 26-year-old left-hander blasted six fours and six sixes and posted 168 off 108 balls for the first wicket with Gayle's replacement, Wes Robinson, whose 54 came from 55 balls and included three fours.

All NSW's bowlers struggled, including out-of-favour West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Smith, whose three overs went for 39 runs.

In his turn at the crease, Smith was run out for three as the Blues crashed to 71 all out. Medium-pacer Mitchell Marsh, Shaun's 18-year-old brother, snatched four wickets for six runs from 14 balls to help accelerate the demise of the innings.

Right-armer Brad Knowles (2-15) and left-arm spinner Aaron Heal (2-13) had earlier started the rout when they shared two wickets apiece.