NAPIER – Chris Gayle is backing his West Indies team to end the tour of New Zealand on a high and win the One-Day Series. The final match is on Tuesday at McLean Park, Napier at noon (Monday – 7 pm Eastern Caribbean Time/6 pm Jamaica Time)
The five-match series is locked 1-1 (two matches were rain ruined) so there is everything to play for. The Test series ended 0-0 – both matches being drawn, and the T20 International series was tied 1-1.
“The best thing is to finish on a high. We have self-belief and we are going out there to win. It’s a big opportunity. I can’t remember beating New Zealand at home in a One-Day or a Test series. What would also be good would be a series win away from home. That would be great for us as a team,” Gayle said. “It would be an honour to do that, so we have a lot to play for.”
Earlier in the tour the two teams met at McLean Park in the second Test match. The match went the full five days with Gayle and Shivanarine Chanderpaul making centuries, while fast bowler Fidel Edwards took seven wickets in the first innings. Gayle said he expects another good pitch, which should provide good entertainment.
“It is a good ground, a good wicket, and basically the games played here have been high-scoring, so the team that plays the better cricket should come out on top. We plan to be that team,” said Gayle, who is listed at Number 6 in the ICC’s ODI batting rankings.
On a personal note, the powerful left-hander has made 6976 runs in his ODI career and is 24 runs away from the 7000 mark. If he reaches he will become the fourth West Indian after Brian Lara, Desmond Haynes and Chanderpaul to hit the landmark.
“I’ve been in good form. Hopefully I can continue from where I left off here and play another good innings for the team,” said the 29-year-old.