Fort Launderdale (Florida): Opener Chris Gayle has praised the West Indies batting following their 56-run win over New Zealand in the opening Twenty20 International but said it was important the Caribbean side kept up the pressure in Sunday`s second match.
The left-handed Gayle was at the centre of the victory, paving the way for the Windies` total of 209 for two with a measured but flamboyant innings of 85 not out, reported a news agency.
He put on 74 for the second wicket with rookie Johnson Charles who scored 24 from 29 balls and added a further 108 for the third wicket stand with Kieron Pollard, who lashed a brutal unbeaten 63.
"It`s a good start, a slow track but a good start for us. Charles played a good innings but credit must go to Kieron for taking the pressure off me. I think power`s a key factor, you don`t want to do a lot of running, you can accelerate in the end," Gayle said.
Gayle hit seven fours and five sixes off 52 balls while Pollard matched him with five fours and five sixes off a mere 29 balls.
Pollard reached his half-century off just 24 balls, to record the third-fastest fifty by a West Indian in T20s.
"When I went in, it was just a matter of supporting Chris as we looked to build a partnership. It was a very good pitch for batting and when I hit my first ball I realised things could go our way," said the right-handed Pollard.
"We all know the kind of player Chris is so once we both got in we were able to target the bowlers close to the end of the innings."