Kingston, June 29 (IANS/CMC) A measured century from Chris Gayle and a four wicket haul from Sunil Narine fashioned a comfortable six-wicket win for the West Indies against Sri Lanka in the opening match of the tri-nation One-day series here Friday.
Gayle mixed composure with aggression to score 109 runs to carry West Indies to the brink of victory after Narine removed key frontline batsmen to setback an encouraging start by the visitors, reports CMC.
Captain Dwayne Bravo and Marlon Samuels calmly carried West Indies to 209 to secure a bonus-point with 73 balls to spare after Sri Lanka were restricted to 208 all out.
Gayle blasted nine fours and seven sixes in a 100 ball century to register his 21st ODI ton and third at Sabina Park, the previous one coming against New Zealand last year.
The Sabina Park crowd had a lot to cheer for as Gayle launched an assault on the bowlers.
Nuwan Kulasekara was hit over deep midwicket and his next ball was carted over wide long-off, Jeevan Mendis was hit straight over his head for six while Sri Lanka’s pace spearhead Lasith Malinga was not spared either as his fast bouncer flew off the top-edge for six.
Gayle put on 106 for the first wicket with Johnson Charles who struggled to read Mendis’s spin and seamer’s swing. Charles laboured to 29 after surviving a drop catch and two strong lbw appeals.
Earlier, Sri Lanka started positively with a 62 run partnership between Upal Tharanga who scored 25 and Mahela Jayawardene 52. But when Sunil Narine removed Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara with his menacing spin the visitors found themselves in trouble.
A fighting half century from Angelo Mathews who was not out on 55 attempted to save the innings but the combined attack of Narine Ravi Rampaul and Bravo kept the batsmen in check.
Narine finished with four for 40 and now has 33 wickets from 14 matches at home while Rampaul took three for 38 and Bravo two for 37.