Chris Gayle potentially bids farewell to international cricket with explosive 72 against India

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Gayle might have just bowed with a bang.

If the heartwarming sendoff for Chris Gayle by the India fielders in the third ODI at Port of Spain was anything to go by, the West Indies veteran might very well have played his final knock in his country’s colours.

The 39-year-old had recently overtaken Brian Lara to become the highest ODI run-getter for Windies while also bringing up 300 appearances in the format. On Wednesday, the Jamaican opener lit up the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad with a 41-ball blitz which fetched a staggering 72 runs.

The southpaw was in explosive mood from the very go after skipper Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bat first and he struck a total of 13 boundaries during his brief but entertaining stay at the crease.

Here, we take a closer look at the veteran opening batsman’s display in what was his 301st ODI appearance for Windies and potentially, his last.

STATS

Runs: 72

Balls: 41

Fours: 8

Sixes: 5

Strike-rate: 175.50

30-SECOND REPORT

Gayle started in characteristic fashion, playing out a maiden over before exploding into life at the Queen’s Park Oval. The West Indies stalwart struck a huge six off Mohammed Shami in the second over of the innings and did not look back from there as he stitched together a brisk stand with fellow opener Evin Lewis.

The duo added a staggering 114 runs in the first 10 overs with Gayle going on the rampage on the way to a 54th ODI half-century. His 41-ball cameo was brought to an end in the 12th over of the innings by Khaleel Ahmed after Virat Kohli completed an excellent diving catch at mid-off.

GOT RIGHT

Gayle loves to bide his time at the crease before he switches gears but he took the attack to the Indians from the very start on Wednesday with the pitch showing barely any assistance for the bowlers.

It wasn’t just mindless hitting from the Windies man as he picked his deliveries to go on the offensive. He was strong on both sides of the ground and played some terrific cover drives as well to add to his effortless hoicks over the on-side.

The experienced opener gave no respite to any of India’s bowlers with Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel all getting the same treatment in a rapid-fire first 10 overs.

GOT WRONG

Gayle looked to be in control for 90 per cent of his innings but he did live dangerous at times with a couple of mistimed shots and edges failing to find the fielder.

He ultimately paid the price for attempting one shot too many when he flat-batted a length delivery from Khaleel. He could have easily have notched up a ton on an excellent batting surface if he had shown a little more patience.

VERDICT – 9/10

The veteran will be disappointed to not touch three-figures in what was potentially his final outing for the West Indies but his explosive start along with that of Evin Lewis ensured that the hosts were on the front foot in a must-win clash.

His quick-fire fifty set the platform for the hosts to build on in the final ODI and he can look back fondly on an illustrious and top-class international career for the Caribbean side if that indeed was a final goodbye.

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