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Gayle powers West Indies to record chase & T20 series win

January 11, 2015

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Chris Gayle powered the West Indies to the highest score by a team batting second in Twenty20 internationals on Sunday, sealing a 2-0 series win in South Africa.

Gayle hammered 90 off 41 balls as West Indies made 236-6 in 19.2 overs to overhaul South Africa’s 231-7 and win by four wickets at the Wanderers. Altogether, 467 runs were scored off 39.2 overs as batsmen ran riot on the run-friendly wicket.

South Africa had set West Indies the challenge of pulling off the biggest chase in T20s, and Gayle responded with another devastating innings. He destroyed the home bowling with the fastest half-century by a West Indian in T20s in the first game.

He bludgeoned nine fours and seven sixes and reached 50 in 20 balls this time. Marlon Samuels made 60 and shared a West Indies record 152-run partnership with Gayle as the West Indian power hitters overshadowed Faf du Plessis’ century for South Africa.

Captain Darren Sammy sent a towering six into the stands to clinch the series with one more game to play.

Du Plessis’ century — the highest score by a South African in the 20-over format — appeared to put the home team on course to level the series at the high-scoring Johannesburg ground. He arrived in the first over and was there until the end of the 19th, hitting 11 fours and five sixes and making his 119 off just 56 balls.

Gayle was in red-hot form again, though, and crunched fours through the off side and hooked and pulled sixes over mid-wicket almost at will. He finally fell 10 short of a century to an edge behind off David Wiese (3-43) and West Indies again wobbled when he was gone as they did in the opener.

Facing a tough chase still, Sammy hit two precious fours and a six in his 20 off 15 balls, launching the match-winning maximum over mid-wicket and way back into the crowd for the record-breaking victory.

West Indies’ chase bettered the 214-4 Australia scored to tie against New Zealand in 2010, and the 211-4 India made to beat Sri Lanka in 2009. West Indies’ total was the fourth-highest ever batting first or second in T20 internationals.

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