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Gayle blows through Ireland attack

cricket Updated: Jun 03, 2009 13:07 IST
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West Indies captain Chris Gayle led his side to a crushing nine-wicket win over Ireland in their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match at the Oval in London with a blistering innings of 88 not out.

West Indies, set 131 to win yesterday, finished on 134 for one with four overs to spare after left-handed opener Gayle's whirlwind knock of 88 not out saw him face just 55 balls with seven sixes, most of them superb straight hits, and six fours in his innings.

"It's good to get a win," Gayle, who saw his side well beaten by England in both a Test and one-day series earlier in the English season, told reporters.

"You might say it was against a weak side but if they had beaten us it would have been a different story. This is a fresh start," added Gayle.

"It was also good to get a feel of conditions in the middle. This is where we play our first match (of the tournament proper against Australia at the Oval on Saturday)."

While other batsmen have invented all manner of strokes that they more or less solely reserve for Twenty20, Gayle prefers his tried and trusted methods.

"I try to stick to my strength which is power," he said.

Ramnaresh Sarwan was 25 not out after helping Gayle add an unbroken 79 off 52 balls for the second wicket.

Gayle and fellow opener Andre Fletcher scored 42 runs in the initial six powerplay overs.