Rain plays spoilsport as Gayle misses history bid against India

Providence (Guyana) (AFP) –


Inclement weather was threatening to ruin the scheduled first One-Day International of the three-match series between the West Indies and India at the Guyana National Stadium on Thursday.

Only 13 overs were bowled since the hosts were put in to bat after Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss with the West Indies reaching 54 for one before the latest downpour drove them off the field yet again.

Minimum requirement for a completed match is for each team to bat for 20 overs, which may now be unlikely given the continuing torrential rainfall.

Veteran opening batsman Chris Gayle was the lone wicket to fall, being bowled by left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav for just four, leaving him nine runs short of surpassing the tally of outstanding former batsman and captain Brian Lara of 10,405 as the most by a West Indian in ODIs.

Gayle, who has reversed a decision to retire from the 50 overs-per-side format of the game after the World Cup, occupied 31 deliveries before being dismissed.

This is his 299th ODI, equalling Lara's record for the most by a West Indian.

It therefore means that the 39-year-old will establish a new ODI record for West Indian appearances and also has the chance to surpass Lara's run tally when the second match is played in Trinidad -- Lara's homeland -- on Sunday.

In contrast to Gayle's pedestrian innings, Evin Lewis was unbeaten on 40 off 36 deliveries (three sixes, two fours) in partnership with Shai Hope at the latest rain stoppage.