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Match Reports,07 July 2015

Leie, Phangiso spin South Africa home

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Gayle hoping for belated birthday present

West Indies opening batsman wants to celebrate 33rd birthday with win over Australia

Gayle hoping for belated birthday present - Cricket News
West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle smiles during an open media session.
West Indies batsman Chris Gayle celebrates his 33rd birthday on Friday (September 21) but is more focused on his team’s ICC World Twenty20 opener the following day, against Australia. 

Questioned about what he had lined up for personal big day, the big-hitter responded in typically jocular fashion. 

“No real big plans... am going to spend it with the West Indies women’s team. I’ll be 33 so I’m really looking forward to it. I’m looking to celebrate with a win over Australia on Saturday night,” said Gayle. 

The Jamaican insisted his mind was totally centered on an early test of the credentials of one of the tournament favourites. 

“In our team we bat right down and bowling-wise we have spinners and fast bowlers,” said Gayle. “The key for us is to get to the second round and try and take it step by step. My birthday is coming up tomorrow, but my mind is on Saturday when we face the Australians. The first game is vital. You don’t want to play catch-up cricket in T20, so it’s a very big match for us. It will also get our confidence going.” 

Gayle tuned up for West Indies’ first ICC WT20 match with a half-century in Monday’s warm-up victory over Afghanistan. The left-hander struck four sixes during his 65 not out and will be expected to clear the boundary on numerous occasions once his campaign proper gets underway.    

The left-hander offered an insight into the key to his six-hitting success as he shows no signs of letting up despite another year passing him by. 

“The key is balance. You have to have good balance to be able to hit a lot of sixes. I try and make sure I pay special emphasis to my balance. You have to realise that bowlers aren’t always going to make it easy for you. You have to create the shots, so you have to make sure you do it well. You have to be mentally prepared as well. 

“I play like this naturally. Even in Test cricket and ODIs, before T20 came around, this is how I used to play. But you learn different skills in T20 and you can take them to Tests and make a lot more runs. It adds to the fun factor as well and you realise that whatever the means necessary to score runs, you’ll do it,” Gayle concluded.  

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