Gayle inspires as Windies take lead in opening Test
Jul 27 2012 - 20:46:54
Chris Gayle marked his return to five-day cricket by hitting 150 as the West Indies moved past New Zealand's 351 all out on the third day of the opening Test here by tea.
Gayle, who was playing his first Test for more than 18 months due to his stand-off with the West Indies Cricket Board following comments he made about officials in a radio interview, smacked 17 boundaries and four sixes as he made his mark in a 206-ball inning before falling to the bowling of Kane Williamson.
The 32-year-old enabled the hosts to put on 254 for the first wicket alongside Kieran Powell before Brendon McCullum took the catch in the deep as he tried to clear long off.
Earlier, Gayle had brought up his 14th Test ton by smashing Chris Martin for six over midwicket, having earlier hit four successive boundaries off the same bowler.
Powell also made a century pull to the boundary through square leg off Neil Wagner before going caught behind for 134 including 22 boundaries and a six of 288 deliveries as Wagner bagged his first Test wicket.
But the West Indies carried on regardless of having their openers back in the pavilion as Fudadin and Samuels took them through to 352 for 2 at tea, a run ahead.
Martin Guptill laid the foundation for what appeared a solid first innings score for the Black Caps with a spirited 97 but spinner Sunil Narine took a maiden five-wicket haul, finishing with five for 132, to undermine the tourists.
Gayle and Powell then set the stage for an exciting denouement.
The West Indies have dominated the tourists so far this summer, taking the Twenty20 series 2-0 in which Gayle was awarded man of the series, and the ODI series 4-1 in which Gayle made an aggressive century and half-century.