Gayle-force as Jamaica hammer Leewards
Bridgetown, Barbados, CMC – Middle order batsman Bryan Gayle stroked a sparkling maiden unbeaten century while Kerry Holness narrowly missed out on another, as Jamaica put Leeward Islands’ bowling to the sword on the opening day of their fourth round match in the WICB Under-19 Championship on Friday.
The defending champions amassed a mammoth 324 for five with Gayle hammering 112, Holness getting 97, and Aldaine Thomas weighing in with an unbeaten half-century down the order.
Gayle and Thomas stole the spotlight in the last session with an authoritative undefeated sixth-wicket stand of 124 in 21 overs, with Thomas lashing three fours and two sixes off a mere 57 balls.
The right-handed Gayle reached his milestone minutes before the close with a powerful pull over mid-wicket for his fifth six. He also counted six fours from 138 deliveries in 186 minutes at the crease.
Earlier, opener Holness playing in his first match of the tournament, batted attractively for 245 minutes, faced 233 balls and struck 11 fours, mainly through the off-side.
Eventually, he was lured in to an expansive drive off the last delivery in the first over after tea and was snapped up at slip off fast-bowler Colin Archibald (2-49), after he and Gayle added 51 for the fourth-wicket.
Sent in, Jamaica lost their captain Oshane Walters without a run on the board off the day’s sixth ball, caught by wicketkeeper Dymon Parris moving in front of first slip, as Archibald found the edge with one angled across the batsman.
An enterprising second-wicket partnership of 107 between Holness and Odaine McCatty ended in the penultimate over before lunch, when McCatty drove at a full-length ball and snicked to slip off Deno Baker for 42.
He faced 74 balls and counted five fours and one six. At the break, Holness was on 62 and Tristan Coleman yet to score.
In the mid-session, things slowed a bit and Holness, who was let off at 42 and 87 carried Jamaica to tea at 187 for three. He was then 93 and Gayle, 31. Gayle then took over with some wonderful stroke-play, bringing up his 50 off 85 deliveries spiced with two fours and two sixes. Leachim Phipps took two for 67.