Tuesday, 17 January 2023 11:21

Brian Lara, Chris Gayle bring cricket magic to Treasure Beach

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A Chris Gayle-led XI defeated Brian Lara’s XI by 11 runs in front of a very packed Treasure Beach Sports Park in St Elizabeth in the Resi Legends Twenty20 cricket festival on Sunday.

Gayle scored a half-century to set up the victory.

The 43-year-old Gayle hammered six fours and two sixes as his team posted 156 for six off their allotted 20 overs.

Gayle put on 54 from 50 balls with Carl Wright (12) before he was dismissed.

Before his dismissal, the explosive left-hander was bowled twice – first by left-arm spinner Nikita Miller and then by left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie,  but both times the umpire signaled a no-ball.

Ricardo McGeachy supported well with a 17-ball 34. He put on 59 from 36 balls with Damion Ebanks for the first wicket. Ebanks contributed 27 from 26 balls.

Santokie was the best bowler for Brian Lara’s XI with two for 26 from his four allotted overs. Miller, Nehemiah Perry, Dave Mohammed, and Howard Powell grabbed a wicket apiece.

Needing 156 for victory, Lara’s XI were restricted to 145 for four with Wavell Hinds leading the way with 43 from 46 balls.

The legendary Lara, who holds the world record Test score of 400 not out, scored a run-a-ball 32 and just like Gayle was twice bowled with no-balls.

Ralston Nelson had the 53-year-old Trinidadian caught by Damian Ebanks at the start of the 19th over. The umpire signaled a no-ball but Lara walked despite the reprieve.

Deran Lee was the best bowler for Gayle’s XI with two for 31 from four overs.

"I haven't seen this crowd in a long time, especially here in Jamaica," said Gayle who is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most destructive batsmen to have played Twenty20 cricket. "It goes to show that people still love cricket, and I know St Elizabeth is the heart of cricket. But it's not everyone here that's from St Elizabeth, people from all over came.

"Big thanks to Brian Lara as well for actually taking part in such a game. It's fantastic and people want to see these things. They haven't seen him for a long time so it's good to be part of an initiative, and I'm glad for the turnout. It's overwhelming, I'm exhausted, a lot of photos, but the people haven't seen us in a long time."

Lara said the atmosphere was good.

“It was great fun out there. It was a no-brainer coming out and supporting Daren Powell, and if I had to come out and do it again tomorrow, I would,” said Lara. “To see the turnout is just spectacular and to see and feel the atmosphere with Chris Gayle and guys like Delroy Morgan and Wavell Hinds, who I played with in the past, I am looking forward to coming back.”

Red Stripe's Brand Manager Nathan Nelms was happy that his company was a part of the cricket festival.

 “Our cricket legends Chris Gayle and Brian Lara put on an exciting show and it was amazing to see thousands of people from all across Jamaica come out in support,” said Nelms.  “As a sponsor for the event, Red Stripe is reminded of why it is important to back such sporting initiatives because we see how they contribute to our culture and help to boost the preservation of our legacy in sports.”

The cricket festival was organized by Daren Powell, a former West Indies and Jamaica fast bowler.