It may be only the first day of the series, with another 14 to go, and on a featherbed of a pitch but I can’t help but feel that this series is going to be a competitive one. I guess seeing the score at 362 for two, and the West Indies batting, is as good a hint as any that the tourists will not just roll over and die as many predicted and many more hoped.
Chris Gayle led the way superbly and, apart from a little period at the start of his innings, looked in completely control of the Sri Lankan bowlers. The youngsters, Adrian Barath and debutant Darren Bravo, were perfect foils – the former while the big left-hander was getting into his stride, and the latter when he was running amok.
I’ve said before that I believe Barath is the real deal so, if anything he disappointed me by not going on to three figures after such a good start. He is still only 20 though so he will have a lot of time to make up for me.
Bravo on the other hand went a long way towards winning me over as a fan. In my previous appearance I admitted that I was impressed with his flashes of brilliance but I wanted to see more. I would be flattered if he reads Balgo’s Blog but he did seem on a mission to please me. He is not short on confidence, some even call him arrogant, but what I saw and liked during his 58 was the dedication and the recognition of what his role was in that record second wicket partnership with Gayle. Conceding authority to the senior man he quietly went about construction his innings while allowing Gayle to plunder at the other end. He still managed to display his moments of brilliance but he, like Barath before him, went too soon – leaving one yearning for more.
Naturally the similarities to Brian Lara would inevitably be mentioned. The commentators did it and one friend actually called me almost swooning at the similarities. That said, if the young Bravo could be half as good as the great man then the West Indies would have found a gem.
And now on to Mr. Gayle! From comments posted elsewhere one gets the impression he set out to prove a point to the West Indies Cricket Board following the whole contract issue. If that is so then I say right on Mr. Gayle! Prove all the points you want! Your innings was a joy to behold and here is hoping you continue in that vein on day 2 and throughout the series.
Blog: Balgo’s Blog
Post: Round One to the West Indies!