Gayle helps West Indies to surge forward
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Scorecard:Australia v West Indies
Player:CH Gayle, MG Johnson, DE Bollinger
Event:West Indies in Australia 2009/10

DateLine: 7th December 2009


West Indies on the back of a magnificent 155 from Gayle scored 284 for the loss of eight wickets with an overall lead of 296 runs. Gayle curbed his natural aggressive stroke-making intentions and replaced it with grit and determination as he made it sure that his side were out of danger. Australian bowlers were ineffectual as they could not create any sort of impact on the West Indian batsmen as they struggled for consistency.


Gayle and Barath resumed the second innings at 23 for no loss and immediately there was drama. Australia lost their two reviews in the first 45 minutes of the day after they appealed unsuccessfully. Bollinger was convinced that he got the outside edge of Barath but the umpire in the middle, Asad Rauf, was unmoved prompting Ponting to go for the review. The replays were inconclusive and the umpire gave the batsman the benefit of the doubt much to the displeasure of the Australians. Barath (17) couldn't make much of the reprieve as he was unlucky to be run-out at the bowler's end when a straight drive from Gayle flicked the fingertips of Hauritz and struck the stumps with the right-hander just short of his ground. Four balls later the Aussies lost their second and the last review when they unsuccessfully tried to review a decision made against Gayle but found themselves at the wrong end again. Gayle threatened to cut loose as he flicked and cut Johnson for a couple of boundaries but the wicket of Sarwan (7)made Gayle to reassess the situation and he dropped the anchor.


Gayle and Chanderpaul put together 72 in 31 overs to steady the West Indian innings. The pair batted cautiously and rarely looked troubled by the innocuous Australian bowlers who instead of attacking opted for a defensive line and length with defensive fields set. The pair was content to push the ball around for ones and twos rather than going for boundaries. Gayle in particular was impressive and for a player who questioned the survival of Test cricket was playing typical Test innings by cutting out his extravagant shot-making tendencies. Gayle got to his fifty in 78 balls which had eight hits to the fence. The left-handed pair took their team to lunch without any damage and after the break continued their impressive work before Bollinger trapped an adhesive Chanderpaul leg before for 27.


Nash joined his Jamaican team-mate in the middle and the two did well to keep the Australian bowlers at bay. Nash survived an anxious moment when he unwisely padded to Bollinger and was gone for all money. But Rauf disagreed and ruled the decision in favour of the batsman only for Bollinger to kick the ground in frustration. Gayle meanwhile moved to his century with a sweep of Hauritz and his celebration told what the knock meant to him. The duo added 61 in 11.4 overs before a bristling inswinging yorker from Watson ended Nash's vigilance for 24. Bravo tried to force the issue but with the tight field employed by Ponting the all-rounder was unabale to accelerate the scoring. Watson did an excellent job by blocking up one end with aggressive bowling and making the batting a real struggle.


Bravo (22) tried to break free but his slash was well caught by Hauritz at gully but not before he added 57 in 16.4 overs. Couple of balls later Johnson cleaned up Ramdin (0) with a peach that did just enough to clip the top of off stump to claim his 50th wicket for this calendar year. Ponting did not opt for the new ball and entrusted Bollinger and Johnson with the old one as they were getting some reverse swing. Bollinger removed Sammy (10) with a perfectly pitched away-swinger to apply more pressure on the Windies especially on Gayle who was now visibly cramping. Johnson then took out Benn (5) who went for an ill-advised pull-shot but Rampaul and Gayle ensured that no further damages were done.