New Zealand v West Indies
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – Doubt still surrounds West Indies opener Chris Gayle’s participation in the second One-Day International starting on Saturday (6 pm, Friday, Eastern Caribbean time).
The 38-year-old left-hander fell ill during the opener in Whangarei on Wednesday and failed to take the field as New Zealand easily chased down a target of 249 to win by five wickets.
Gayle made 22 in the visitors innings, appearing his usual bellicose self in striking three fours and a six.
Captain Jason Holder said Friday they were still hopeful of having Gayle in the final XI.
“We will wait until [Saturday] morning and see how he pulls up,” Holder said on Friday.
“To be honest, we’re not sure right now. We’re hopeful that he can play but there is still some doubt.”
The Windies camp has been tightlipped on Gayle’s illness, with head coach Stuart Law saying only that the Jamaican would seek medical advice from doctors here in Christchurch.
And Holder said Gayle had remained upbeat despite his health challenges.
“He’s in good spirits . . . Chris is always a bubbly guy, he’s full of jokes,” the all-rounder said.
“He’s still that normal way, so just hoping he can recover well enough to take a further part in the tour.”
West Indies will attempt to salvage something from the tour of New Zealand by grabbing a win in the second ODI.
The are without a win after drawing the three-day warm-up against New Zealand A, suffering a clean sweep in the two-match Test series and then losing the 50-overs practice fixture against a New Zealand XI.
Holder said his side would need to produce a significantly better performance with the bat in order to give themselves a chance of defeating the Black Caps.
“We definitely have to make more runs. The nature of this game now, you have got to score in excess of 300 runs consistently,” he explained.
“We did bat the overs [in the first ODI], but we didn’t get up to 300 runs, which is probably a benchmark for us.” – CMC