Gayle bounces back

West Indies’ captain, Chris Gayle, has been named in a 13-man squad for the first ODI against England in Guyana on Friday, after recovering sufficiently from the right hamstring injury that hampered his participation in the closing stages of the fifth Test, and ruled him out of Sunday’s Twenty20 international in Trinidad.

Gayle returns to the squad at the expense of Andre Fletcher, who was unable to replicate his matchwinning form in the Stanford 20/20 for 20 when he fell in the second over of West Indies’ run-chase at Queen’s Park Oval.

Gayle could now open the batting with Ramnaresh Sarwan, who continued his prolific season on Sunday with 59 from 46 balls in a comfortable six-wicket win.

Dwayne Bravo has also been named in the squad, having played his last ODI against Australia at Basseterre back in July 2008.

He demonstrated his fitness after ankle surgery by bowling four overs in the Twenty20 victory, taking 1 for 34 including the wicket of Stephen Davies.

The Jamaica spinner, Nikita Miller, has also been named in the squad, an unexpected inclusion ahead of Sulieman Benn, whose figures of 3 for 24 set West Indies up for their Twenty20 victory.

The beleaguered Daren Powell also retains his place in the 13-man squad, alongside his fellow fast bowlers, Fidel Edwards and Lionel Baker.

West Indies are on a roll. They kept England winless on their Caribbean tour when they comprehensively outplayed them by six wickets in the solitary Digicel Twenty20 International on Sunday.

West Indies’ bowlers stifled the tourists before dismissing them for a paltry 121 off 19.1 overs, with gangling left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn leading the assault with three for 24.

Ramnaresh Sarwan then extended his sublime form in the series, hammering a superb 59 off 46 balls to propel West Indies to 123 for four with two overs left in the contest at Guaracara Park.

The result left England still hunting for success after they lost the five-Test series 1-0 last week, on what has been a disappointing tour to date.

West Indies 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Lendl Simmons, 3 Devon Smith, 4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 5 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Kieron Pollard, 10 Fidel Edwards, 11 Nikita Miller, 12 Daren Powell, 13 Lionel Baker.

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