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Gayle force Wind(ie)s slam doors on SA
by NT Shiv Kumar
Nov 03, 2006
The Gayle force was too stormy to handle for the proteas today at Jaipur, in yet another semi final that was reduced to a no-contest within the first fifteen overs of the second session. Gayle and Chanderpaul were brutal on SA seamers whose listless performance today would have comforted their Indian counterparts – they put on over 150 runs and when the target got south of hundred with ten wickets in hand, there’s nothing much that even the over rated captaincy skills of Greame Smith could do to enliven the proceedings.

Earlier on, the proteas had won the toss but lost the plot on constructing a solid enough base to launch a target of 275-280 that this Jaipur track begged. Kallis, despite all his top billing, once again hung around too long for too little to disrupt the build-up. Gibbs played sensibly to anchor the innings but the failure of big hitters like Kemp and Boucher gave the Windies a psychological upper hand of keeping the chase to a manageable 5 per over in batting friendly conditions.

Gayle saved his appetite during the break to have the proteas for dinner – he was in his zone those 3 hours and did what he wanted – cuts, pulls and drives all around the park with fair and equal treatment to all bowlers. His batting did just enough for the Indian fans to conjure up visions of Tendulkar and Sehwag clobbering Pollock and Ntini, in less than 3 weeks from now. As they say, fantasy is a friend of the famished whilst reality is for the rich. We will soon get there to figure that piece out.

Chanderpaul blended his workman like approach with some exquisite flicks and cover drives to make it a double trouble for Smith, whose brief moments of joy came when Bravo and Lara got out needlessly towards the finishing stages of the game.

Gayle was mighty determined to stay till the end, which he did - just to send out a message to the Aussies that he will resume from where he left today. It would take much more than that, though, to outwit the Aussies who will light the fire in Windies camp at Mumbai and go on to collect the English ashes at the SCG.

 
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