Kingston, Jamaica — Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle played all the shots in the book as they scored memorable centuries to give West Indies another dominant win over New Zealand. The two Jamaicans delighted the fans at Sabina Park as the home side won the second Digicel One-Day International by 55 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Samuels made 101 not out off 103 balls — his third ODI century and first international century in the Caribbean. Gayle blasted 125 off 107 balls with eight fours and nine sixes. It was his second ODI century at Sabina and highest ODI score by a West Indian at the ground. Overall it was his 20th ODI century as he surpassed Brian Lara’s 19 to establish a new West Indies record.
Gayle and Samuels added 129 for the third wicket and thrilled the colourful crowd. They lifted the West Indies to 315-5 off 50 overs. The bowlers then went to work and bowled out the Black Caps for 260 off 47 overs. Samuels took 2-46 to earn the Digicel Man-of-the-Match award, while Ravi Rampaul (3-50) and Sunil Narine (2-45) maintained the pressure.
“I played exactly the way I wanted to today. Chris set the stage with his power at the top of the innings and then I was able to come in and add the finishing touches. It was an enjoyable day for me and the team. It was special to do it with so many people who have done so much for me in my life watching,” Samuels said.
“It is my first hundred in the Caribbean, the others have been away. The others have been out of my ‘comfort zone’ … but this one has been in my ‘comfort zone’. It’s been a while since I last batted with Chris, so batting with him today was wonderful.
“This is the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence so I’d like to say ‘happy anniversary to my people, my entire country’. This was a special innings for my people and the people of the West Indies. Getting this century meant a lot to me. This is another step forward in my career. ”
Gayle too was pleased with his effort and was also full of praise for Samuels.
“I felt he [Samuels] played really well and I’m happy for him. He is a quality player and to see him get a hundred after I got one earlier in the innings is something special,” said Gayle, who was watched by his father and other family members.
“We have been playing good cricket against New Zealand from the start of the series in Florida last week and we have continued that good work here in Jamaica. What was really pleasing to see was the way we controlled the game from the start and turned up the tempo at the right time. We were strong in all departments, and the bowlers did another good job for us today.”
The two teams travel to St Kitts on Sunday for the second phase of the Digicel ODI Series. The third Digicel ODI is on Wednesday at 9.30 am (8.30 am Jamaica Time).