Sport

Sabina braces for Gayle storm

Paul Burrowes

Thursday, August 02, 2012    

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As one of nine West Indian to amass more than 6,000 runs in Test cricket, 32-year-old Chris Gayle has a remarkable low batting average at Sabina Park.

His fellow Jamaicans, George Headley, Lawrence Rowe and Jimmy Adams have featured at the ground. In fact, among batsmen playing at least five innings there, the trio boasts leading batting averages.

Headley struck two centuries from five innings to shine with a batting average of 130.00.

Rowe roared with three centuries from his seven innings to own a 113.40 batting average, while Adams' five innings, including one century, puts his at 109.33.

Gayle, meanwhile, played 15 innings at Sabina Park, with one century and one half-century, to have a meagre 24.27 batting average.

The 6ft-5in left-handed batsmen will have the opportunity time to show his true colours at Sabina Park when the Windies take on New Zealand in the second Test beginning today.

A double century would boost his average wonderfully and he would join Sir Garfield Sobers, Headley, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Conrad Hunte, Frank Worrell and Brian Lara as West Indians scoring more than 200 runs in an innings in Kingston.

With more than 100 catches in One Day Internationals (102), Gayle needs another 14 catches to achieve a similar milestone in Test.

He has, however, never taken more than three catches in an innings or match in Test and will have to better the fielding performance of Jimmy Adams at Sabina.

Adams holds the Test record of six catches in a match on the ground, achieved against England in February 1994.

Only four West Indians have so far taken more than 100 catches in Test, namely Lara (164), Sir Viv Richards (122), Carl Hooper (115) and Sobers (109).

Gayle remains the top West Indian run-getter against the Kiwis, accumulating 1,034 runs from 13 innings with a batting average of 86.16.

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