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Chris Gayle returns to Tests in style

Chris Gayle returns to Tests in style

West Indies and Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Chris Gayle hit 85* on Day 2 of the first Test against New Zealand in Antigua on Thursday.

Playing his first Test since December 2010, Chris Gayle first had to serve time fielding as New Zealand won the toss and chose to bat first. They posted 351 before being bowled out midway through the second session on Day 2, helped largely by runs from Martin Guptill, Daniel Flynn and Ross Taylor.

Chris Gayle had only played T20s for a large part of his hiatus and there were doubts regarding his ability to cope to the sedate run scoring patterns that Test cricket demands. West Indies felt his absence with several opening pairs tested and dumped without much success. In his first outing, he answered both the questions effectively, racing away to his 50 off 39 balls before settling down and guiding the team to 145/0 at Stumps.

The West Indies innings began with Gayle facing two dot balls from Chris Martin but the over ended with 4 consecutive fours. Kieran Powell gave the bowlers time to breathe but Gayle was relentless despite being dropped on 36 by Daniel Flynn. He went after Doug Bracewell and Neil Wagner, the latter received special treatment after he extended his follow through to exchange words with Gayle.

Gayle slowed down after his half century as NZ spinners Daniel Vettori and Kane Williamson were brought into the attack to keep the batsmen in check. He batted for time, moving from 51 off 39 balls before Tea to 85* off 124 balls at Stumps.

Powell reached 58* off 164 balls at the other end as West Indies ended the day on 145/0, trailing New Zealand by 206 runs.

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