Gayle blitz sets up victory for the Warriors
Chris Gayle launched an astonishing blitz to help the Retravision Warriors cruise to a 32 run victory over the Queensland Bulls to keep their hopes of reaching the KFC t20 Big Bash Preliminary Final alive.
The big hitting West Indian smashed 92 from just 40 balls during an opening stand of 144 with Lian Davis, who at times was just a spectator as Gayle turned the game into a home run derby smashing 8 sixes into the crowd.
The defeat leaves the Bulls unable to qualifying for the Preliminary Final after winning just 1 of their last 5 games; they’ll now go into their last game against the SpeedBlitz Blues at Stadium Australia on Sunday with nothing to play for.
Having conceded 144 runs in just 13 overs the Bulls could have easily wilted away but to their credit they fought their way back onto the game restricting the Warriors to a total of just 202-4.
Faced with a mammoth run chase the Bulls got off to a solid start with James Hopes and Michael Lumb building an opening partnership of 34 as Lumb tried to shake off his recent poor form with a couple of big sixes.
The partnership was soon ended though when Hopes (5) was caught by Michael Beer at mid on to give Mick Lewis the early breakthrough.
Despite the loss of Hopes; Lumb continued to attack the Warriors bowlers as he started to show the form which had deserted him after helping England win the t20 World Cup last year in the West Indies.
The opening dispatched Beer for a big six over the mid wicket boundary to help the Bulls reach 53-1 after the opening six overs of the power play fielding restrictions.
With one eye on a maiden KFC t20 Big Bash half century Lumb’s innings was brought to an end by Beer who gained revenged for the six in his previous over when he trapped Lumb (42) LBW in the 8th over.
Having lost Lumb the Bulls run chase went off the rails with the run rate increasing to a massive 13 an over as Nathan Reardon and Craig Philipson were unable to recreate the fireworks displayed by Gayle earlier in the evening.
Although the par built a 74 run 3rd wicket partnership the course of the game had already been decided long before Philipson (32) was run out in the 17th over.
Chris Simpson’s (0) time at the crease lasted just 1 delivery as Gayle took a simple catch in the covers much to the delight of his teammates as they celebrated with the West Indian who was playing his last game for the Warriors before he jets off to join up with the West Indies.
Reardon (56) completed a well deserved half century which came from 40 deliveries as the game slowly moved towards completion at the Gabba at the Bulls ended their innings 170-5 as the Warriors completed a simple victory thanks to Gayle.
Having started off slowly Gayle lit the touch paper in the 5th over when he smashed Luke Feldman for two fours and a massive six which sailed into the top deck of the stand at long off.
With the ground buzzing Gayle followed up his fireworks with two more sixes off the bowling of Michael Neser in the next over before he completed a stunning 20 ball half century with another six, this time off the bowling of Ben Cutting.
In the space of 3 overs Gayle had taken the game away from the Bulls with a display of power hitting which had seen 48 runs scored from just 18 deliveries.
Gayle’s blitz continued as the ball was dispatched around the Gabba with ease much to the delight of the home crowd as the West Indian smashed boundary after boundary as he targeted a stunning century.
The Warriors opener had reached 92 in his quest before his innings was finally brought to an end after he attempted to smash Neser for another huge six, but for the first time tonight he miss timed his shot and got a faint edge which was caught by wicket keeper Chris Hartley.
With the danger man back in the dugout the Bulls still had another 7 overs to bowl and with the Warriors well positioned, a run chase of over 200 was still on the cards for the home side.
To their credit the Bulls struck again to remove Adam Voges (1) and Luke Pomersbach (4) in the space of 6 deliveries to leave the Warriors 150-3 with just over 5 overs to go.
Davis (53) remained at the crease to record his own half century but the opener quickly followed after he was run out in the 18th over as the Bulls fought their way back into the game.
Tom Beaton (21) and Luke Ronchi (22) added another 31 runs during their 5th wicket partnership but the Warriors will have been disappointed not to have scored more then 202-4 after Gayle’s stunning blitz.