KINGSTON, Jamaica : Centuries from Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels inspired West Indies to a 55-run win over New Zealand in the second one day international here at Sabina Park.
After three successive half centuries in the back-to-back Twenty20 matches in Florida and the first ODI on Thursday Gayle again showed the local fans what they had been missing after 12 months of international exile.
His contribution of 125 runs, featuring nine sixes, from 107 balls and with Samuels compiling 101 off 103 balls, lifted West Indies to 315 for five.
New Zealand were always going to be struggling to match that total and despite half centuries from BJ Watling, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson were bowled out for 260 off 47 overs.
Saturday’s result gave the hosts a 2-0 lead in the five match series which they can seal in St Kitts on Wednesday.
For Gayle this was his 20th ODI ton, a new West Indian record, surpassing the previous record sdet by Brian Lara.
He was prevented beating his career-best score of 153 when in the 38th over one of his shots landed in the hands of deep midwicket.
For man of the match Samuels this was his third ODI century.
Gayle, reflecting on a good day in the office for him and his team, said: “What was really pleasing to see was the way we controlled the game from the start and turned up the tempo at the right time. We were strong in all departments, and the bowlers did another good job for us today.”
He praised the contribution made by Samuels, saying: “He is a quality player and to see him get a hundred after I got one earlier in the innings is something special.”
Samuels reflected: “Chris set the stage with his power at the top of the innings and then I was able to come in and add the finishing touches.
“It was an enjoyable day for me and the team. It was special to do it with so many people who have done so much for me in my life watching.
“It is my first hundred in the Caribbean, the others have been away. The others have been out of my ‘comfort zone’ … but this one has been in my ‘comfort zone’.
“It’s been a while since I last batted with Chris, so batting with him today was wonderful.”