Chris Gayle has been in tremendous form in the last couple of months. His exhibition of hitting in the series against England and in the game against Pakistan had made him the Chris Gayle of old – Feared for his destructive ability. Australia knew that if their total of 289 had to be defended, Gayle had to be dismissed cheaply. In the third over bowled by left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc, there was action right from the first ball and the Australians were having a hard time in dislodging the universe boss. It all started with the second ball of the over.
Starc bowled a short and wide ball outside off, Gayle mistimed the cut shot and it landed just in front of point. The fourth ball was a ripping bouncer which leapt up and Gayle got the glove which flew over skipper Alex Carey. The fifth ball was a full and straight ball just outside off, Gayle went for the drive and got beaten. The Australian players appealed and umpire Gaffaney gave it out. Gayle opted for the review and Real-Time Snicko showed no spike and the ball hit the off stump. The bail was not dislodged and the decision was overturned.
Immediately, on the next ball, Starc fired a yorker on the middle and leg stump and umpire Gaffaney gave it out. Gayle stared for a long time and once again opted for the review. Replays showed that the impact itself was outside leg and was missing the stumps. It looked like it would be Gayle’ time in Trent Bridge.
The anger that Gayle was feeling was taken out on Pat Cummins as he was hit for three fours in one over. In the process, Gayle went past Mark Waugh and Sourav Ganguly’s record of most runs in the World Cup to go past 1000 runs. The battle resumed in the fourth over when Starc bowled a yorker to Gayle and the left-hander dug it out for a couple to deep square leg. However, the bowler did not give up and bowled a full ball that swung back in late and Gayle was rapped on the back pad.
Umpire Gaffaney gave it out again and Gayle belatedly opted for the review. The ball was clipping leg stump and he was given his marching orders. Gayle was not third time lucky but Starc showed his class as West Indies suffered a big jolt in their chase of 289 in the ICC Cricket World Cup clash in Trent Bridge.