Gayle notched his 1st one-day hundred against Sri Lanka as he led West Indies to a crushing 6-wicket win with more than 12 overs to spare in the opening match of the tri-nation international series.
Replying to the visitors' modest total of 208 all out off 48.3 overs, the hard-hitting opening batsman delighted his fellow Jamaicans with another main effort on the way to his 21st ODI century. His 109 came off 100 deliveries and was embellished with 7 sixes and 9 fours. That pushed his team on to 209 for four off 37.5 overs and they earned a bonus point as well for reaching their target before the conclusion of the 40th over.
Earlier, Sunil Narine returned to his miserly, wicket-taking best, snaring 4 / 40 as Sri Lanka faltered after a dishonestly bright start to be dismissed for 208.
He had an instant impact on the match when he came on in the 18th over, removed the prolific and experienced pair of Mahela Jayawardene (52) and Kumar Sangakkara (17) in his 1st 3 overs to immediately put the brake on what had been a promising start by the Sri Lankans.
Jayawardene was at his fluent best, dominating an opening partnership of 62 with Upul Tharanga before they were separated by Bravo. In contrast, Sangakkara never really got going and the West Indies were reasonably delighted when he pushed a straightforward catch to Pollard at cover.
Ravi Rampaul backed up the spinner's effort with 3 wickets and it was left to Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews to hold the innings together following the demise of the 3 big hitters, his unbeaten 55 being the top score as he capitalized on an early bit of luck when put down by Gayle off the bowling of pacer Kemar Roach.
Speaking after the match, Mathews acknowledged that with Chris Gayle in such a mood, his team's total was never going to be enough. We needed early on wickets and that did not happen, he lamented. And when Chris Gayle is in that sort of mind-set, no bowling attack in the world can stop and no target is too much.
Sri Lanka: 208/10 (48.3)
A Mathews (C)-55(77)
M Jayawardena –52(52)
West Indies: 209/4 (37.5)
C Gayle -109(100)
J Charles -29(58)
Men of the match-C Gayle (WI)