Gayle’s 101 leaves Zimbabwe reeling
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Opener Chris Gayle completed his 15th Test century to keep West Indies in the ascendancy against Zimbabwe on day two of the second and final cricket test at Windsor Park on Thursday.
Gayle, overnight 61, slammed 12 fours and four sixes in 101 as West Indies went to lunch on 201-4 in reply to Zimbabwe's modest first-innings total of 175. Shivnarine Chanderpaul was unbeaten on 40 at the break with Denesh Ramdin on 4 not out.
Zimbabwe enjoyed a sensational start when the hosts resumed on 114-2, fast bowler Tendai Chatara uprooting the off stump of Marlon Samuels with an outswinging yorker off the first ball of the day.
Samuels, who added 79 with Gayle for the third wicket, scored 26. But Gayle and fellow left-hander Chanderpaul quickly consolidated in a stand of 67. Both batsmen were circumspect in the face of disciplined bowling from the tourists.
Gayle finally broke free as he closed in on three figures, lofting medium pacer Hamilton Masakadza for six and then taking offspinner Prosper Utseya for two sixes off successive deliveries to move to 99.
The powerful Jamaican brought up his milestone a ball later, off 134 balls, with a push into the off side for a single. Gayle's fourth six took him past the great Brian Lara (88) as the most prolific six-hitter in tests for West Indies, with 89. But he fell trying to add to that number, miscuing a lofted hit for Kyle Jarvis to pull off a fantastic running catch at long-off to give Utseya his first test wicket.
Chanderpaul, who had a life at 24 when Masakadza failed to grasp a low chance at leg slip off Graeme Cremer's legspin, batted with typical resilience to be within sight of another half century at the interval.
Utseya took 1-36, while Chatara claimed 1-49. Jarvis, who took two wickets on the first day, had figures of 2-49.