[QODLink]
Archive
Windies storm to place in the final
Chris Gayle smashed a  blistering century to fire the West Indies into the Champions Trophy  final with a six-wicket win over a hapless South Africa here on Thursday.
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2006 19:58 GMT
Brian Lara's team was too good for the South Africans
Chris Gayle smashed a  blistering century to fire the West Indies into the Champions Trophy  final with a six-wicket win over a hapless South Africa here on Thursday.

The 27-year-old opener hammered an unbeaten 133 in a stunning display of aggressive batting as the West Indies made a mockery of  South Africa's challenging total of 258-8 to win the semi-final with six overs to spare.

Defending champions West Indies will clash with Australia in the final at Mumbai on Sunday.

Gayle reduced the day-night match to a no-contest with his  breath-taking strokes on both sides of the wicket, hammering three  sixes and 17 fours in a 135-ball knock for his 15th century in 150 one-day internationals.

"Once I get a start I always try to capitalise on it. I like challenges and this was a good one. This was definitely one of my better knocks," said Gayle, named man of the match.

Gayle received valuable support from Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who cracked a solid 57 before retiring hurt with cramps. They added 154  to ensure the West Indies keep their reputation intact of beating  South Africa in big events.

The West Indies defeated South Africa in the 2003 World Cup and  then in the Champions Trophy in England the following year. The  defeats contributed to South Africa's failure to reach the semi-finals on both the occasions.

A top batsman

"He [Gayle] is an excellent batsman and a great influence on the  guys. He takes everything seriously," said West Indies skipper Brian Lara.

"The plan was not to lose early wickets since South Africans had  gained the upper hand by taking early wickets in their previous  games."

South Africa earlier rode of Herschelle Gibbs's impressive 77 to  post their highest total in the tournament, but were later reduced  to a state of helplessness by Gayle's pyrotechnics.

Fast bowlers had played crucial roles in South Africa's  victories in the last two group matches against Sri Lanka and  Pakistan, but looked clueless against left-handed openers Gayle and Chanderpaul.

Source:
Aljazeera + Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
join our mailing list