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Gayle shines for West Indies


GEORGETOWN, Guyana, March 9 (AFP) - Opening batsman Chris Gayle hit an impressive 48 not out as the West Indies made a solid start on the first day of the first Test against South Africa at the Bourda ground on Friday.

West Indies were 101 for one at lunch after winning the toss and batting on a hard, bare pitch which offered no help to the bowlers. Gayle, 21, a tall left-hander, hit eight fours as he reached his highest score in a five-Test career.

South Africas only success came when captain Shaun Pollock had Wavell Hinds caught at short cover for 13 when the total was 43.

Pollock had a passionate appeal against Marlon Samuels turned down before the batsman had scored. Umpire Ed Nicholls turned down the appeal and television replays seemed to show he was right, with the ball deflecting off both pads before reaching wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

Gayle was particularly severe on fast bowler Makhaya Ntini, hitting him for four fours in two overs, showing searing power off the back foot.

But South Africa were able to slow down the scoring in the half hour before lunch with Lance Klusener, bowling off-cutters off a short run, bowling well in tandem with Jacques Kallis.

West Indies left out experienced batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul and fast bowler Reon King from their squad of 13, with young batsmen Samuels and Ramnaresh Sarwan preferred to Chanderpaul, who recently returned from injury.







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