The West Indies was in a no-nonsense mood last evening when they took Australia to the sword by scoring a 3 – nil lead in their T20 International series encounter in St. Lucia.
Chris Gayle was back to his utmost best, hitting 67 from 38 balls as the West Indies canter to victory with 31 balls to spare.
Stand-in captain Nicholas Pooran also contributed with the bat, making 32 not out from a 27-ball knock.
Australia batters failed to capitalize on a relatively good start and could only manage to score 141 for 6. Moises Henriques with 33, and Aaron Finch, 30, were the top scorers for the team from down under.
Hayden Walsh was the pick of the bowlers for the Windies with 2 wickets for 18 runs from his four overs.
After his brilliant performance with the bat, Gayle was named player of the match, hitting several lusty blows, including seven sixes and four fours in his knock, before edging to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade off Meredith.
In a post-match interview, Gayle applauded his team members for their unwavering support as well as his delight to be back with some runs from the bat.
“It’s a great journey. I’m so happy and so pleased to get a series win first of all. I just want to commend the stand-in captain Nicholas Pooran for winning a fantastic series against a great team. “
He added, “To Kieron Pollard, he played a big part as well even though he played in none of these games. You all knew I was struggling with the bat and to be able to get some runs today was very pleasing. But what was pleasing about getting these runs tonight was my teammates.”
He said further, “I want to dedicate this half-century and milestone to my teammates, especially Kieron Pollard and he stand tall for the person I am and what I’ve achieved. He let me know where I stand within this team, and he wanted me to go and express myself. So, I’m very grateful for that pep talk because sometimes it doesn’t matter how great you are, you need a bit of a talk sometimes. That coming from Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo with big support in the media as well. I have to commend those senior guys; they played a fantastic part with what happened today. With this strength and unity, we’re playing some great all-round cricket and I’m really pleased to win this series.”
Gayle has struggled to make runs since his return to the Windies setup.
The veteran left-hander made his first T20 International half-century since 2016 with his blazing knock.
“From a personal point of view, you all knew I was struggling with the bat, but to be get some runs today it’s very pleasing,” Gayle said. “I want to dedicate these runs to my teammates, especially Kieron Pollard. He gave me the pep talk I needed.”
Gayle made 288 runs in seven innings at an average of 41.14 in the 2020 IPL before scoring 178 runs in eight knocks in the 2021 edition.
“Looking back, when I got back into the West Indies team against Sri Lanka, I was trying to play a different role, than play Chris Gayle himself,” Gayle said. “I didn’t get the runs, but the guys rallied around me. It’s coming on, my main focus is the World Cup.”
Scores in the match:
West Indies 142/4 (14.5/20 overs)
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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