A brilliant century from Chris Gayle took the Jamaica Tallawahs to a 50-run victory against Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel at Sabina Park.
Gayle’s century carried the Tallawahs to 180-6 which proved far too many for the Red Steel as they collapsed in a heap in their run-chase, managing just 130-9.
Gayle, who has now scored a staggering 676 runs in his last nine T20 innings, was the only player in the match who appeared totally at ease on a slightly two-paced pitch. Gayle hit three sixes inside the first 11 balls of the match and was on 47 by the end of the Powerplay.
However, after the Tallawahs exited the Powerplay they suddenly lost a flurry of wickets. Chadwick Walton, Chris Lynn, Mahela Jayawardene and Narsingh Deonarine falling before the end of the twelfth over.
Gayle, however, endured. After a ferocious start he played responsibly in the middle-overs, striking occasional boundaries but making a clear effort not to give his wicket away.
Gayle’s patience paid dividends. As the innings entered its final quarter he kick-started the power once more and alongside Jermaine Blackwood he took the Tallawahs past 150. He brought up his 16th T20 hundred with a single before he was dismissed for 105 in the penultimate over.
A six off the final ball of the innings from Juan Theron took the Tallawahs to 180-6 from their twenty overs, the highest T20 score at Sabina Park. Sulieman Benn and Kevon Cooper were the standout bowlers for the Red Steel on a tough evening for them.
The Red Steel run-chase got off to a terrible start when they lost Cameron Delport for a duck in the second over. Things got even worse very quickly. Two more batsmen in the top five, both Darren and Dwayne Bravo also got ducks, while Kamran Akmal managed just 2 as they exited the Powerplay reeling at 41-4.
Jacques Kallis was the only Red Steel batsman who could make a significant contribution, scoring 45, but the pressure of the scoreboard continued to squeeze the Red Steel and they lost wickets at regular intervals, eventually finishing 130-9
Daniel Vettori was the pick of the Tallawahs bowlers, taking 2 for 12 from his four overs. Krishmar Santokie took three wickets, while Jerome Taylor also took two. This night however, will be remembered for one man: Christopher Henry Gayle.