By Ravendra Madholall
Pugnacious Jamaican opening batsman Chris Gayle fired on all cylinders to smash an unbeaten 122 for Vancouver Knights last Monday against Montreal Tigers in another round match of the 2019 Global T20 at CCA Centre, Brampton.
Vancouver Knights, who lifted the title last year at the six-team inaugural tournament, were asked to take first strike and piled up a massive 276-3 from the full quota of 20-overs.
Montreal Tigers did not bat after the two ruling umpires Carl Tuckett and Harry Grewal called off play owing to bad light. However, both teams collected a point each with Vancouver Knights on three points from as many games, while the Tigers also have the same results but sit below Knights at number 4.
Brampton Wolves lead the table with four points from two matches while Winnipeg Hawks, with four points from two outings, remain in second position. Toronto Nationals have two points from three encounters (5) while Edmonton Royals languish at the bottom without a point from two matches.
On Monday, Gayle, famously known as the “Universe Boss”, hit 12 effortless sixes and seven fours during his entertaining, 54-ball occupation.
His opening companion Tobias Visee was also in a no-nonsense mood hit 51 from19 ball; his innings contained 11 fours and one six before he was brilliantly caught by Dinesh Chandimal at deep extra-cover off Guyanese seamer Dillon Heyliger. The 39-year-old Gayle was forced to play second fiddle as Visee dominated the 63-run partnership.
Gayle’s compatriot Chadwick Walton appeared at number three and opened up his account with an exquisite cover drive off Heyliger. The attacking right-handed Walton scored an attractive 29 which included three fours and two sixes, and stitched together a rapid 67-run second-wicket stand with Gayle, who brought up his half-century from just 24 balls.
After Walton was bowled by wily Trinidadian off-spinner Sunil Narine, South African veteran batsman He van der Dussen continued the run fest with Gayle as they shared a 139-run third-wicket partnership. Dussen eventually fell for a well-played 56 in which he reached the boundary on three occasions and cleared it twice.
Gayle mixed solid defense with great aggression, and reach his century in just 41 balls.
The round-robin tournament is slated to conclude on August 11 at the same venue with lucrative monetary prizes at stake. Meanwhile, Vancouver Knights, who defeated Toronto Nationals by a comprehensive eight-wicket margin in the opening round, suffered a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Winnipeg Hawks.