Hetmyer lives dream of batting with Gayle
By Avenash Ramzan
Some believe that today’s dreams are often tomorrow’s realities. For Shimron Hetmyer, it could not have been more aptly demonstrated.
As a toddler, the Berbician watched Chris Gayle on television mauling bowlers the world over and dreamt of one day being at the wicket with the strapping Jamaican left-hander.
That became a reality on Tuesday when the World Cup-winning West Indies Under-19 captain partnered Gayle in a match-winning partnership against United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.
As if to mark the occasion, both left-handers got hundreds. While Gayle’s 123 was his 23rd ODI ton- the most by a West Indian- Hetmyer’s 127 was his maiden ODI hundred.
“It was a fantastic feeling for me (to bat with Gayle). And being there when he got his hundred was just fantastic,” Hetmyer said after his innings.
After Evin Lewis’ departure for 31 with 88 runs on the board, Hetmyer and Gayle added 103 for the second wicket to put West Indies in a prime position for a huge total.
He added, “I try to rotate the strike as much as possible to him (Gayle) and at the same time try to get myself in, and I guess that worked well for me today.”
“He (Gayle) just said play straight as possible and just try to rotate the strike, and once the ball is there (to be hit) just be positive as well.”
Hetmyer said the hundred is surely one he will remember for a long time, and he is hoping it will be the first of many.
West Indies posted 357-4, but UAE responded strongly, finishing on 297-6. Hetmyer was named Man-of-the-Match. He also claimed three catches as the stand-in wicketkeeper after Shai Hope picked up an injury while batting.
Editor’s Note: Listen to Hetmyer’s interview below.