Cricket: Gayle steers West Indies to victory over Sri Lanka

KINGSTON, June 28, 2013 (AFP) – Chris Gayle notched his first one-day hundred against Sri Lanka as he led West Indies to a crushing six-wicket victory with more than 12 overs to spare in the opening match of the three-nation international series at Sabina Park on Friday. Replying to the visitors’ modest total of 208 all out off 48.3 overs, the hard-hitting opening batsman delighted his fellow Jamaicans with another dominant effort on the way to his 21st ODI century.

His 109 came off 100 deliveries and was embellished with seven sixes and nine fours.

That pushed his team on to 209 for four off 37.5 overs and they earned a bonus point as well for reaching their target before the conclusion of the 40th over.

That extra point is likely to be significant in the latter stages of the competition, especially with World Cup-holders and recent Champions Trophy winners India entering the fray on Sunday against a West Indies team that will be buoyant following their comprehensive opening triumph.

Any anxiety that home fans may have had about the target facing them were erased by the confidence of Gayle’s start.

The former captain dominated an opening partnership of 115 by the 21st over with Johnson Charles, who rode his luck for a supporting but struggling 29