Gayle blows India away

Indians on the brink of exit from World Twenty20 as Windies captain hits 98.

Dhoni looks on as Gayle heaves another to the boundary [AFP]

West Indies captain Chris Gayle fell short of an unprecedented second Twenty20 international hundred but still inspired his side to a 14-run win over India in Barbados.

The result left the south Asian giants contemplating elimination from the World Twenty20 – despite the fact that their players are honed in the Indian Premier League T20 tournament on home soil.

Gayle’s innings of 98 powered the hosts to a total of 169 for six before a good all-round display by the West Indies in the field at the Kensington Oval saw India held to a total of 155 for nine from 20 overs.

If Sri Lanka beat Australia in Saturday’s second Super Eights match at Kensington, India will be out even before their final second-round game.

But if Australia win, India will still have a shot at reaching the semi-finals.

However, India will have to beat Sri Lanka in St Lucia on Tuesday and then hope both for an Australia win over the West Indies and that their own run-rate is better than that of Gayle’s side.

West Indies’ victory revived their bid for a last-four spot after a 57-run thrashing by Sri Lanka at Kensington on Friday.


With a challenging total to chase, India opener Murali Vijay was caught at deep backward square leg for seven pulling a short, rising ball from Darren Sammy in the fourth over.

India suffered another early blow when Gautam Gambhir gloved a short ball from Kemar Roach and was caught behind for 15.

India slipped to 38 for three in the eighth over, when Rohit Sharma gloved behind essaying a scoop shot off Kieron Pollard.

The dismissal was mired in controversy, when the batsman essentially asked umpire Billy Bowden to refer the decision to TV umpire Steve Davis.

But the umpire decision review system is not in place for the competition, and Bowden upheld his original decision, following consultation with his on-field colleague Simon Taufel.

A stand of 42 between left-handers Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh bolstered, but they were both removed in the space of five balls.

Raina was caught inside the deep mid-wicket boundary off Gayle for the top innings score of 32, and Yuvraj was caught at wide mid-on off Sulieman Benn as India slipped to 81 for five in the 13th over.

A stand of 33 from 19 balls between Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan raised Indian hopes of a come-from-behind victory.

Last hopes

But Pathan was caught at long leg off Jerome Taylor for 17 in the 16th over, and Dhoni was run out going for a second run by Dwayne Bravo’s direct hit at the bowler’s end from long-on to take India’s last hopes with him.

Earlier, Gayle was run out going for a second run, when he failed to beat substitute fielder Dinesh Karthik’s throw from the cover boundary to wicketkeeper and India captain Mahedra Singh Dhoni off the penultimate ball of the West Indies innings.

Gayle was dropped at square leg on 46, when he top-edged a pull off Ashish Nehra in the 12th over and Dhoni and short third man fielder Yusuf Pathan ran into each other.

He reached his 50 from 41 balls, when two balls later, a thick edge driving ferociously at Nehra flew to third man for his third four.

With left-handed opener Gayle nearing a hundred, both Bravo and Ramnaresh Sarwan sacrificed their wickets with miscued pulls to mid-wicket off Nehra, who ended with three wickets for 35 runs.

Gayle was the first of only four men to score a Twenty20 international hundred when he made 117, still the highest individual score at this level, against South Africa at the inaugural tournament in Johannesburg in 2007.

Source: AFP