Gayle hits 16th ODI ton as West Indies win Scotiabank Cup

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS,

Toronto : West Indies captain Chris Gayle scored a blistering 110 off 77 balls to lead his team to seven-wicket victory over Canada to clinch the first Scotiabank ODI triangular series here Sunday.

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In reply to the Canadian total of 179, the West Indies romped home with seven wickets and 22.3 overs to spare.

In a repeat of fireworks against the West Indies Friday, Canadian batsman Rizwan Cheema once again made mincemeat of opposition attack, scoring 61 off just 45 balls. His knock included three towering sixes.

While Gayle was declared the man of the match, Cheema was the unanimous choice for man of the series with his swashbuckling stroke-play and brilliant bowling performances.

Batting first, the hosts got off to a dismal start, losing Mohammad Iqbal without any score on the board. The opener was run out off the very first ball while looking for an impossible single.

But Cheema took the attack to the opposition, scoring blazing shots all over the ground. His tempo was not disrupted even when his partner Ashish Bagai fell leg before wicket to Jerome Taylor in the fifth over.

With his team on 28 for two after five over, Cheema let loose in the sixth over, scoring fours and sixes freely and taking his team’s score past 50 runs. But Taylor struck again in his next over when he removed the new batsman Abdul Samad.

Cheema took the team score to 99 with David before he fell to Daren Powell for 61 in the 15 over.

After his departure, the hosts lost its wickets regularly, folding up at 179. David contributed 28.

For the West Indies, Taylor was the highest wicket taker with three for 33.

In reply, the West Indies captain went on the rampage from the word go, posting his 50 off 39 balls. It included nine boundaries and two sixes.

Surviving an appeal for leg before wicket and a stumping chance, Chris Gayle raced to his sixteenth ODI century in just off 70 balls, plundering 13 fours and six sixes.

Before the West Indies posted their winning 181 runs, Gayle was unbeaten on 110.

For the winners, Sewnarine Chandergoon scored 23, Carlton Baugh 29 and Leon Johnson 1. Xavier Marshall, who created the record of hitting 12 maximum sixes in ODIs Friday, remained not out on four.

The Scotiabank ODI Cup was the first triangular ODI series played on Canadian soil.

Cricket Canada CEO Atul Ahuja said there will be more money and prizes for players when the next edition is held in 2009.