Lions’ Gayle force crushes Warriors

2014-11-08 00:00

WEST Indian Chris Gayle blud-geoned a quick-fire, unbeaten hundred as the Highveld Lions crushed the Warriors by 10 wickets in their Ram Slam T20 Challenge cricket fixture at Buffalo Park, East London last night.

Set 145 for victory, the Lions raced home to a bonus point win with all of 34 balls to spare thanks solely to Gayle’s blitzkrieg of 108 runs. The 55-ball innings included 10 fours and seven sixes. Fellow opener Alviro Petersen was hardly noticed while making an unbeaten 29 off 35.

Gayle was brutal throughout his innings and bullied the Warriors bowling attack to all parts of Buffalo Park. There was not a homeside bowler who was not savaged by Gayle’s swinging willow, although seamer Lundi Mbane’s figures of none for 31 in four overs were respectable in the context of the innings.

Warriors captain Colin Ingram tried rotating his bowlers but with Gayle in the mood he was, no bowler was going to steal his thunder. His hundred came up off 51 balls with the finish line just about in sight and then he secured the victory with a mighty six off Simon Harmer in the 15th over.

The Lions are now two wins from two matches while the Warriors are none for two and looking like a very desperate, unbalanced side.

Earlier, English professional Craig Kieswetter scored an unbeaten 82 to help the Warriors post 144 for six wickets. It was Kieswetter’s second half-century of the competition and also formed the backbone of the homeside’s effort after Ingram had won the toss and elected to bat. The Somerset wicket-keeping allrounder faced only 64 balls and struck eight fours and three sixes to ensure that his side would have something decent to defend with the ball.

The Warriors were on the back foot early losing opener Somila Seyibokwe for only a single, brilliantly run out by a direct hit from Temba Bavuma.

But despite that early loss, Kieswetter and Jon-Jon Smuts looked in control and took the total to 68 before Lions legspinner Eddie Leie rocked the Warriors to the core with three wickets in the 11th over. First up was Smuts, caught by Alviro Petersen for 16 and then Ingram, stumped by Thami Tsolokile off the first ball he faced.

Leie then bowled new batsmen batsman Christiaan Jonker for nought with the very next delivery to have the Warriors reeling at 69 for four. Ryan Bailey’s unsuccessful season continued when he followed for six nine runs later and at 78 for five another disaster looked on the cards.

But, Kieswetter stood firm and eventually found another partner in Simon Harmer and the pair put on a mini-stand of 38 runs in just under five overs before Harmer became Lonwabo Tsotsobe’s first and only victim.

Tsotsobe gave very little away with the ball conceding only 13 runs in his four overs while Leie was the most successful claiming three for 19.

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