West Indies 408 & 175 South Africa 195 &amp 260: Gayle hails his 'career best' after victory for West Indies

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The Independent Online

Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, said his team's 128-run win in the first Test against South Africa here in Port Elizabeth on Saturday was the highlight of his career.

West Indies dismissed South Africa, who were chasing a target of 389, for 260 to win with a day to spare. It was a first West Indies win in the 10 Tests they have played in South Africa and their first Test victory since May 2005.

"It feels really good," Gayle, who was leading his side in a Test for the first time. "Beating South Africa in four days on home soil is tremendous. It's my best match so far."

Gayle played down the value of his contribution as captain. "There were a lot of young players involved, and it was pleasing to see the way they operated," Gayle said. "Leadership is important, but every player needs an opportunity and I think sometimes people expect too much from players too soon."

South African captain Graeme Smith accepted his team had been outplayed. "We let ourselves down in the first innings," he said. "We allowed them to get to a first-innings total that was always going to make it difficult for us to come back from.

"We didn't get our basics right, and we didn't adapt to the pitch well enough. The West Indies showed a lot more determination, and they deserve their win."

The second of three Tests starts in Cape Town on Wednesday.

* Australia eased to a comprehensive 337-run first Test victory over India in Melbourne on Saturday when they dismissed the visitors for 161 in the final session of the fourth day. The Australians, who have won 15 successive Tests, exploited a wearing pitch to capture the 10 wickets needed for victory. "We played excellent cricket all the way through," Australia captain Ricky Ponting said.