Gayle sets West Indies record with triple ton

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The Independent Online

Chris Gayle tormented Sri Lanka with a career-best 333 as West Indies took control of the first Test in Galle yesterday before declaring on 580 for 9.

Gayle became the first West Indian to score a triple Test century on foreign soil and the fourth player to score two triple tons, joining Australian great Don Bradman, India's Virender Sehwag and Brian Lara.

With the batsmen flourishing on a placid pitch, West Indies looked set for a huge first-innings total but the dismissal of Brendan Nash (64) sparked a collapse and the hosts hit back to claimsix wickets for 21 runs. Sri Lanka will resume on the third day on 54 for 1.

Gayle caressed Ajantha Mendis to the extra cover boundary to bring up his triple century, and promptly dropped down on his knees in celebration while his team-mates applauded him loudly from their balcony.

However, Mendis brought Sri Lanka back into the match with a great spell of bowling in the final session and claimed five wickets for 13 runs off 46 balls. The spinner broke a 167-run fourth-wicket stand between Gayle and Nash by trapping the latter lbw. He went on to pick up the scalps of Dwayne Bravo, Gayle, captain Darren Sammy and Andre Russell to finish with figures of 6 for 169.

Meanwhile, Younus Khan hit his 17th Test hundred to guide Pakistan to a draw against South Africa on the final day of the first Test in Dubai. Set 451 for victory after the visitors declared their second innings on 318 for 2, Younus stroked an unbeaten 131 as Pakistan lost just one wicket to reach 343 for 3.