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Gayle's century gives Windies hope

December 22, 2008 13:29 IST

West Indies captain Chris Gayle scored a magnificent 146 to give his team a chance of a surprise victory at the close of the fourth day of the second Test against New Zealand in Napier on Monday.

At stumps the West Indies were 278 for seven in the second innings, an overall lead of 214 with one day to play with Gayle still at the crease alongside Fidel Edwards.

While New Zealand are still favoured to win the match, Gayle's innings has given the tourists some hope, despite them being on the back foot for much of the game.

Gayle bludgeoned 13 fours and cleared the boundary six times during his innings for his first test century in more than three years.

He shared a 126-run partnership with Brendan Nash (65), the pair coming together with the West Indies in deep trouble at 106 for four.

Gayle's century was his eighth in Test cricket, but his first since he scored 317 against South Africa in April 2005.

The West Indies captain, renowned for his aggressive batting, was forced into a more responsible innings after the loss of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for a duck.


West Indies began the day at 62 for two, still trailing New Zealand by two runs, but Gayle and Xavier Marshall quickly wiped off the deficit and began to establish a handy lead.

The pair put on 55 at a fast pace until New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel caught the edge of a lunging Marshall, with first slip Ross Taylor taking a comfortable catch.

Patel then claimed the prize wicket of Chanderpaul the very next ball with probably his worst delivery of the match, a full toss which the prolific batsman spooned back to a delighted Patel.

Nash survived the hat-trick ball and grew increasingly confident against the New Zealand attack, hitting eight fours as he notched up his second half century of the match.

But after tea he was troubled by an over of short pitched bowling from James Franklin, eventually gloving one to Jamie How at third slip, two balls after being hit flush on the chest by a well-directed bouncer.

Denesh Ramdin (6) and Jerome Taylor (8) offered little resistance but Edwards showed real character to last out the day.


West Indies (1st innings): 307 (S.Chanderpaul 126 not out, B.Nash 74, I.O'Brien 6-75)

New Zealand (1st innings): 371 (T.McIntosh 136, D.Flynn 57, J.Ryder 57, F.Edwards 7-87

West Indies (2nd innings): (62-2 overnight)
C.Gayle not out 146
S.Chattergoon c Taylor Patel 25
R.Sarwan lbw Vettori 1
X.Marshall c Taylor b Patel 18
S.Chanderpaul c & b Patel 0
B.Nash c Ramdin b Franklin 65
D.Ramdin c Flynn b Franklin 6
J.Taylor lbw O'Brien 8
F.Edwards not out 1
Extras: (nb-6 w-1 lb-1) 8
Total: (for seven wickets 115 overs) 278

Fall of wicket: 1-58, 2-61, 3-106, 4-106, 5-230, 6-252, 7-272.

To bat: S.Benn, D.Powell

Bowling: O'Brien 20-2-64-1 (nb-4, w-1), Mills 6-1-21-0 (nb-1), Patel 34-13-83-3, Vettori 42-19-69-1 (nb-1), Franklin 12-2-40-2.

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