West Indies look to Gayle force in Ireland opener

PROVIDENCE: West Indies captain Chris Gayle struck Australia fast bowler Brett Lee for 27 runs in one over at last year''s World Twenty20 so Ireland''s attack could be forgiven for fearing the worst.

Hosts West Indies face Ireland, looking for yet more giant-killing success, on the first day of this year''s World Twenty20 here on Friday.

One consolation for Ireland is that the form of the West Indies in general and Gayle in particular is far from consistent.

But if Gayle, whose 117 against South Africa in the inaugural 2007 edition remains the only century at a World Twenty20, does find his form then Ireland''s bowlers will be hard pressed to keep him in check.

This month the West Indies beat Ireland by six wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis method in a one-day international in Jamaica but trying to apply conclusions from other forms of cricket to Twenty20 is fraught with risk.