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Gayle century leads Windies to win

Chris Gayle entertained his home crowd at Sabina Park with a superb century to lead West Indies to a comprehensive six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the opening match of the one-day triangular series.

Jamaican Gayle struck nine fours and seven sixes in a typically merciless knock of 109 from 100 balls for his 21st one-day international hundred.

Sri Lanka eventually snared the 33-year-old in the 31st over, caught by Upul Tharanga off spinner Ajantha Mendis, but the damage had already been done and West Indies reached their victory target of 209 with more than 12 overs to spare.

Earlier, West Indies bowlers Sunil Narine and Ravi Rampaul did much of the damage as Sri Lanka slumped from a promising position to a disappointing 208 all out.

The tourists, who last week lost in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy to eventual winners India, had looked on course for a healthy total, reaching 104 for two in the 22nd over after being put in to bat.

However, spinner Narine and paceman Rampaul combined to rip out the Sri Lanka middle order and the tourists were dismissed without playing out their 50 overs.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Matthews had sought to build on the good early work of Mahela Jayawardene, who struck a run-a-ball 52 at the top of the innings, but he could not find sufficient support from his team-mates as he was left stranded 55 not out.

That total proved to be wholly inadequate once Gayle got into his stride, the big left-hander dominating a first-wicket stand of 115 with Johnson Charles, who had contributed just 29 to the partnership before he was the first wicket to fall.

Gayle's dismissal sparked a mini-collapse, which saw the Windies lose three wickets for 12 runs - Darren Bravo going for 27 and Kieron Pollard without scoring - but Marlon Samuels and captain Dwayne Bravo saw them across the winning line with no further concerns.

India are the other team involved the tournament and they play West Indies on Sunday, also in Kingston.

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