Chris Gayle was the star of the show today. The ‘Gayle storm’ was coming for a long time, we could sense it being around the corner but no one could have predicted it to be so destructive. It tore the Zimbabwean bowling attack to pieces.
It was a beautiful exhibition of how to play yourself in by knocking the ball around in the initial overs and then bludgeoning the bowlers to all parts of the park once you are settled at the crease. The Zimbawean bowlers further helped his cause by feeding him with some absolute dollies but you still have to be very good to put them away on these big Australian grounds.
Marlon Samuels played the perfect sheet anchor role by securing one end and giving Gayle the freedom to go about his business. Samuels was subdued for most part of the innings but towards the end even he shifted gears and helped West Inidies post a mammoth score of 372.
The chase was always going to be difficult and losing wickets upfront did not help the Zimbabweans. Sean Williams and Brendan Taylor got together and played some delightful shots to keep the score board ticking. But then the DRS and the third umpire played spoil sport. I do not know what video was shown to the third umpire because the one we saw on the screen made it clear that the ball came off the forearm. A horrendous error cost the Zimbabweans their best batsmen and it was always going to be tough for them to keep up with the run rate.
But the run rate seemed to be no problem for the Zimbabweans. They were in control of that but the wickets column was the worry for them. And when Sean Williams departed, it was all but done as far the Zimbabweans were concerned.
Strong performance by the West Indians but their bowling was easily manoeuvred by the Zimbabweans and had Gayle not clicked today, it could have been a very interesting contest.
Ireland vs U.A.E.
Ireland clearly has the upper hand in this fixture. They have been playing sensible, solid cricket and the pace friendly conditions at the Gabba should assist Ireland more than U.A.E.
Khurram Khan is the only U.A.E. player worth considering for this fixture. He has a batting average of 53 in ODIs and also chips in with a few overs. U.A.E. play India in the last match of stage 1 and Khurram could fetch you some points against the Indian attack. You have a similar player in Ireland in the form of Paul Stirling. Stirling has had a good outing against the West Indians and he too chips in with both bat and ball.
Power Player pick
Paul Stirling is my Power Player for the day.
Trump Card for the day
Paul Stirling is my trump card for the day
I hope it is a high scoring game tomorrow so that both my batsmen can give me at least 100 points each. A double header awaits us on the day after and that is when I hope to make a thrust forward.
Happy team picking