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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Chris Gayle's century ease WI to a win

It was on an evening in Mumbai – Shaun Tait bounced it short,  Pollard swung it massively over mid-wicket – ball went missing for a 120M hit ~ and the DJ was playing some funny numbers, there was the jig in the middle – of Pollard and Bravo enjoying and dancing…then on another day at Chepauk, there was more entertainment  - on a day when the otherwise cool composed  Rahul Dravid  fumbled on field, let the ball go through his legs, kicked the turf and immediately in the same over, showed his frustration by hitting the ball with his hand – after hitting  a massive six in the third ball of the last over and two quick doubles in the fourth and fifth ball – Bravo started his dance…….

Yesterday history of T20 –no. 20 was to repeat.  "He did what he does," said Morgan after the match, and of that there can be no doubt. Five fours and 11 sixes -  a whopping 86 runs in boundaries - allowed a stiff run-chase to be deconstructed with an improbably professorial air. Chris Gayle pottered at the non-striker's end while Marlon Samuels bossed the Powerplay, then snapped into action.

West Indies may be a Test team in crisis whose days as a bilateral force have been and gone, but for the big world tours there's still, for this generation, a desire to get the band back together and jamming, as Dwayne Bravo's new victory song goes to show.

Way back on Sept. 11, 2007, in that opening match of the inaugural 2007 Twenty20 World Championship, hosts South Africa defeated the West Indies by eight wickets at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa. Chris Gayle scored the first ever century in a Twenty20 international, hitting 117 runs off 57 balls. Gayle and Devon Smith shared an opening partnership of 145 runs.  

Now, Chris Gayle has 2 tons in World T20, which makes him the first batsman to score more than one hundred in this tournament.  He has so far hit 98 Sixes in T20Is, the most by any batsman in this format. During the course of this innings, he went past Brendon McCullum's previous record of 91. In World T20s, Gayle has 60 sixes, which is almost twice as many as the next best: Yuvraj Singh has 31 sixes from 25 innings, compared to Gayle's 60 from 23.

Statistically, it was T20 no. 537 at Wankhede, 15th match of Super 10 – WI beat England by 6 wickets with 11 balls remaining.

If statistics can offer great solace, on Sept 2006, in a Super 8 match played at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to field. McCullum and McMillan blasted Indian bowlers to post a big score.  As a group champion, India were favourites to win the match but the two Macs from New Zealand-Brendon McCullum (45 off 31) and Craig McMillan (44 off 23) saw the Kiwis posting a big score of 190 in 20 overs. Except Harbhajan Singh who grabbed two wickets for 24 in his four overs, all other Indian bowlers had a rough day in the field. Gambhir-Sehwag gave India a dashing start but it then fell apart Chasing 191.

This loss, however, did not stop India from advancing to the semifinals as they beat England (Yuvraj Singh's six consecutive sixes!) and South Africa as the champion of the Super 8 group. New Zealand qualified for the semifinals as the second team ~ and MSD went on to create history.

History often repeats itself !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

17th Mar 2016

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