Mystery surrounded crowd-pleasing West Indies opener Chris Gayle tonight after he failed to appear during the second innings of the opening ODI against New Zealand at Cobham Oval today.
The electric lefthander had made 22 in the West Indies innings, and looked to be finding his range after a slow start, before being dismissed by Doug Bracewell's first ball in international cricket for 15 months. That was him gone for the day.
No one within the West Indies management seemed to know what was amiss with Gayle, other than that he was unwell.
''He took ill,'' said coach Stuart Law after New Zealand's five-wicket win with four to overs to spare today.
''We're going to seek further medical advice when we arrive in Christchurch tomorrow. I can't give you any further details.''
Even whether it was a physical illness such as a stomach upset, or a muscular problem, no one seemed to know. All very odd.
Further information is expected at some point tomorrow.
Throw in an injury to useful seamer Kesrick Williams, who has inflammation in an upper thigh after bowling an impressive five-over speIl, and it was a disappointing day for the West Indies.
They had been sent in on a pitch which helped the seamers early, but as the day wore on favoured the batsmen. By then, the damage had been done by a New Zealand team playing good, confident cricket.
Had it not been for opener Evin Lewis, who knuckled down and got to 76 in a classy performance, and allrounder Rovman Powell with a punchy 59 late on, the West Indies would have been in a pickle.
Lewis, who drove and cut impressively and was unafraid to take the aerial route, had just two off his first 18 balls before he got the hang of the pitch and was off. His next 74 came off 82 deliveries.
It was a special day for seamer Bracewell, back in action after a bad knee injury last summer.
He got rid of Gayle and Shai Hope within three deliveries – wicket, wide, wicket – and ended up as man of the match, albeit with a slightly pricy four for 55 off eight overs.
But spare a thought, too, for debutant Todd Astle. He took three for 36 with a tidy performance, then added a snappy cameo at the finish to wrap up the win with Ross Taylor (49 not out).
Astle's wrong 'un was working well and he rarely bowled a poor ball.
He's had his share of setbacks, notably getting injured just before the start of New Zealand's early-season tour of India, having played on the A visit there beforehand.
He's had two tests four years apart and has long been regarded as a good, allround cricketer without always being blessed by good fortune. Today he would have been a worthy man of the match too.
Openers George Worker and Colin Munro banged away to 108, New Zealand's first ODI opening century stand since December 28, 2015 and from there it was pretty straightforward.
Their stand, in which Worker had the bulk of the strike, but Munro the far superior scoring rate – 49 off 36 balls, compared to the Central Districts' man's 57 off 66 – will help rev up a tasty opening batting debate, once Martin Guptill returns to action soon.
New Zealand should have won more easily. The game meandered along for a time but they are firmly on course to wrap up the ODI series to go with the 2-0 test rubber victory.
The West Indies need to find more zip and dynamism in their cricket. If Gayle is sidelined that will undermine their hopes of achieving that when the series resumes in Christchurch on Saturday.