Gayle eyes another post-300 total against South Africa


Gayle exploded back to form with a World Cup record 215 off 147 balls and put on a record one-day stand of 372 with Marlon Samuels (unbeaten 133 off 156 balls) to set Zimbabwe a target of 373, reduced by rain to 363.

Zimbabwe were bowled out for 289 off 44.3 overs for the second win of the tournament for the improving West Indians.

Next up is a challenging match against AB de Villiers’ Proteas with a third win for the Windies likely to lock up a quarter-final berth.

So far the West Indies have posted totals of 304 against Ireland, 310 against Pakistan and their latest 372 against Zimbabwe.

Gayle says it will be the target again for the Caribbean side as they look to avenge a 4-1 ODI series loss to the Proteas in South Africa last month.

“Yeah, that’s a good positive for us, getting 300 runs. Apart from the first game (against Ireland), I thought our bowlers did a wonderful job,” Gayle said.

“Jerome Taylor with the new ball picking up early wickets for us, put us in a good position, as well for the captain Jason Holder.

“It’s been fantastic, it’s a plus for our batting to be able to get 300 runs in three consecutive games.

“So hopefully we can actually go four for four and post a good total, whatever we’re going to chase, we’ll see what happens, and hopefully we can win again.”

The West Indies are striking form at the right time after their shock first-up loss to Ireland and have handsomely beaten Pakistan and now Zimbabwe.

“We’re coming up against a good team. We toured South Africa recently. We know each other, as well,” said Gayle.

“It’s going to be a good test. It’s a World Cup event now, so we’re all on neutral ground, so we’ve got to make our best performance speak for ourselves.

“They beat us badly in their home towns. We are on neutral grounds now, so hopefully we can get things going for us and beat South Africa in the World Cup.”

Gayle, 35, said he has been inconvenienced by a back complaint since January last year which has hindered his preparation for matches.

“It’s the same back injury. I’ve had it since last January. It can’t seem to be solved, to be honest with you,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a mind thing. I try and do a lot of massage. I’m a person that likes to go to the gym, and I’ve been restricted from that for a couple of months, as well.

“But I went to the gym yesterday and did some work because I needed some.

“Eventually it worked out for me in the end. Listen, I’m in a comfortable situation to be honest with you.

“I hope this is a start of a new beginning. Try and build on this as much as possible and then put the team in a good position, and then we look forward to it against South Africa.”- AFP