Chris Gayle notched his first one-day hundred against Sri Lanka as he led the West Indies to a six-wicket victory with more than 12 overs to spare in the opening match of the three-nation international series at Sabina Park on Friday.
Replying to the visitors’ modest total of 208 all out off 48.3 overs, the hard-hitting opening batsman delighted his fellow Jamaicans with another dominant effort on the way to his 21st ODI century.
His 109 came off 100 deliveries and was embellished with seven sixes and nine fours.
That pushed his team on to 209-4 off 37.5 overs and they earned a bonus point as well for reaching their target before the conclusion of the 40th over.
That extra point is likely to be significant in the latter stages of the competition, especially with recent Champions Trophy winners India entering the fray today against the West Indies.
Any anxiety that home fans may have had about the target facing them were erased by the confidence of Gayle’s start.
The former captain dominated an opening partnership of 115 with Johnson Charles, who rode his luck for a supporting but struggling 29 before he fell to the bowling of left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.
Ajantha Mendis eventually accounted for Gayle via a miscued swing to leg.
Darren Bravo was run out near the end for 27 and Kieron Pollard was unlucky to be adjudged LBW to Nuwan Kulasekara, but by then the match was over as a contest and Marlon Samuels, with skipper Dwayne Bravo at the other end, ensured that victory was complete.
Earlier, Sunil Narine snared 4-40 as Sri Lanka faltered after a bright start to be dismissed for 208.