Gayle leads Windies to crucial victory in 2nd ODI

PROVIDENCE, Guyana: Chris Gayle and Narsingh Deonarine hit half-centuries as West Indies beat Zimbabwe by four wickets in the second one-day international on Saturday.

Zimbabwe failed to successfully defend a target score of 207, as Gayle collected the top score of 88 from 111 balls and Deonarine supported with 65 from 85 balls.

The result brought West Indies level 1-1 in the five-match series, after Zimbabwe won the opener on Thursday at the same venue.

It was also West Indies'' first victory over international opposition, since a depleted side prevailed over Bangladesh by five runs in a Twenty20 International last August in St. Kitts.

Elton Chigumbura had struck five fours in 50 from 72 balls, as Zimbabwe were dismissed for 206 in 49.5 overs after they decided to bat.

The Zimbabweans batting was dismantled by left-arm spinner Nikita Miller with a career-best spell of four wickets for 43 runs from 10 overs, and fast bowler Kemar Roach with three for 37 from 9.5 overs.

Zimbabwe appeared to have taken control of the match, when West Indies declined to 85 for four in the 26th over in their chase.

The Zimbabwean spin bowlers were again squeezing the life out of the West Indies batting, when Deonarine joined fellow left-hander Gayle.

But the visitors could not maintain their hold on the match, as Deonarine, in particular, and Gayle gradually loosened their grip in a stand of 83 for the fifth wicket.

But leg-spinner Graeme Cremer had Gayle stumped with West Indies still needing 39 to get from the last 49 balls.

When Price had Kieron Pollard caught at long-on three overs later, Zimbabwe were on their toes, and West Indies were on the edge of their seats.

But this time, there was no late drama, as Darren Sammy hit Price to long-off for four to seal the victory.

The two sides now travel to the island of St. Vincent for the remaining three ODIs on March 10, 12, and 14.