Above: Chris Gayle (Photo: DigicelCricket/Brooks LaTouche)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard led the way as the West Indies fashioned a 56-run victory over New Zealand in the opening T20 International match at Central Broward Regional Stadium’s pitch in Lauderhill, Florida on Saturday.
Trinidad’s Kieron Pollard, along with Gayle, helped lead the Windies rattle up a record 209 for two off their 20 overs.
Pollard smoked 63 not out off just 29 balls, with five fours and five long sixes. Gayle cracked 85 not out with seven fours and five sixes off 52 balls.
“It’s a good start,” Gayle said. “A slow track but a good start for us. Charles play a good innings, but credit must go to Kieron for taking the pressure off me. I think power’s a key factor, you don’t want to do a lot of running, you can accelerate in the end.”
The crowd in Lauderhill was more than 15,000 strong.
“When I went in, it was just a matter of supporting Chris as we looked to build a partnership,” Pollard said. “It was a very good pitch for batting, and when I hit my first ball, I realized things could go our way.”
Gayle stroked his second half-century in three innings since his return.
Johnson Charles helped out as well, making 24 with three boundaries.
“We all know the kind of player Chris is, so once we both got in we were able to target the bowlers close to the end of the innings,” Pollard said.
The West Indies face off against New Zealand again Sunday.
“We have to come out and start over again,” Gayle said. “Today gave us some good momentum, so hopefully tomorrow we can come back and get another good win for the people.”