Gayle sparks Windies to 3-0 lead



Veteran Chris Gayle made his first international T20 fifty since 2016, plundering 67 from just 38 balls to help West Indies to a six wicket thrashing of Australia in Saint Lucia on Tuesday.


It gave the home side an unassailable 3-0 lead with still two matches to play, beating the tourists with a whopping 31 balls remaining.


Australia won the toss and chose to bat first, limping to a score of 6-141 from their 20 overs with Moises Henriques top scoring with 33.


Openers Aaron Finch (30) and Matthew Wade (23) got starts but fell just as they looked set, regular wickets helping West Indies restrict their opponents.


Ashton Turner made 24 from 22 balls in his first game of the series, one of three inclusions for the match along with Alex Carey and Riley Meredith.


Hayden Walsh was again the pick of the bowlers with 2-18 from 4 overs, only two sixes conceded by the West Indies from the 20 overs in the field.


Mitchell Starc struck early to claim his first wicket of the series, Andre Fletcher miscuing to Mitch Marsh at midwicket in the opening over having made 4.


Gayle took 19 runs from Josh Hazlewood's opening over, striking three fours and a six to silence the doubters who have questioned his place in the side ahead of the T20 World Cup in India in October-November.


Meredith made a breakthrough to dismiss Lendl Simmons (15) caught at deep backward point, but the bowlers had no answers for Gayle who thrashed seven sixes and for fours in a domineering batting display.


The game was as good as decided by the time Gayle departed for 67, captain Nicholas Pooran applying the finishing touches with an unbeaten 32 as victory arrived in the 15th over.


Meredith claimed 3-48 to be the most successful of the bowlers, the series gone with two matches still to play before focus turns to the three match ODI series in Bridgetown starting July 23rd.


IMAGE: ESPN Cricinfo.