March 2018
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ICC World Cup Qualifiers: Chris Gayle scores first ODI ton in three years as West Indies thrash UAE bowlers
(Harare, Mar 06, 2018):Chris Gayle scored his first ODI century in three years as the West Indies beat the United Arab Emirates by 60 runs in their ICC World Cup Qualifiers match at Harare on Tuesday.

The Caribbean team posted a mammoth 357/4, and despite Rameez Shahzad's 112* and Shaiman Anwar's 64, the UAE could only go as far as 297/6. West Indies captain Jason Holder took 5/53 to thwart the UAE attempts.

Earlier in the day after the West Indies opted to bat, the dangerous Gayle smashed 123 off 91 balls with the help of 11 sixes and seven fours. He found great company in Shimron Hetmyer who scored 127 off 93 balls courtesy of four sixes and 14 fours.

Gayle and Hetmyer added 103 for the second wicket following an 88-run opening stand with Evin Lewis, who made 31.

It was Gayle's 23rd ODI century, which is highest for a Caribbean batsman.

His last ODI century had come in the 2015 World Cup when he scored 215 against Zimbabwe at Canberra.

The West Indies, along with Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe, had missed out on automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales by finishing outside the top eight on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings at the 30 September 2017 cut-off date.

Besides the West Indies, the UAE, Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe, the other teams participating in this event are Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Nepal.

Five teams comprise Group A and Group B each and two of these 10 outfits will make it to the tournament proper following the Super Sixes.

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