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Chris Gayle wraps up series for West Indies

Harare: A brilliant performance by Chris Gayle guided the West Indies to a series-clinching eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the fifth one-day International on Sunday.

Gayle claimed four for 24 with his off-spinners and then scored an unbeaten 112, his second century of the series, to play a major role in a win that earned the West Indies a 3-2 victory in the five-match series.

After Zimbabwe had slumped to 196 all out Gayle launched a sustained assault on the Zimbabwe bowlers, playing a range of strokes with power and timing. He faced 75 balls and hit 17 fours and two sixes.

Zimbabwe began their innings solidly, but floundered after Gayle was brought into the attack in the 23rd over.

Vusi Sibanda was run out for eight by Ricardo Powell in the tenth over and Barney Rogers clipped seven fours in his 34 before being caught behind by wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs off Mervyn Dillon. Mark Vermeulen and Craig Wishart consolidated well in their third-wicket stand of 50. But Zimbabwe’s problems began when Gayle came on in the 23rd over, and had Wishart caught behind for 16 by Jacobs with his fifth delivery.

Zimbabwe’s previously steady flow of runs, which took them to 106 for two after 22 overs, dried up as Gayle kept the batsmen pinned down with nothing more threatening than variations of flight and pace.

Several Zimbabweans succumbed to soft dismissals, including debutant Alester Maregwede and Vermeulen, who fell to identical catches at short mid-wicket by Powell off Gayle for nought and 36 respectively.

Tatenda Taibu scored 14 before slapping a ball from off-spinner Powell to Ramnaresh Sarwan at mid-wicket, and it was 157 for seven in the 41st over when Sean Ervine went for 10 to a low catch in the covers by Powell off Gayle. (Reuters)

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