Gayle storm blows away England

Chris Gayle sent a message to the rest of the World Twenty20 participants as he blew away England with a 48-ball 100, peppered with 11 sixes, as he helped West Indies make short work of England's total of 182 for six.

Chris Gayle in his element...   -  Vivek Bendre

The onset of monsoon is still some months away, but Chris Gayle provided Mumbai with a ‘burst’ of a different kind on a floodlit Wednesday evening. If nothing, this simple piece of statistic would define the kind of carnage that was on display at the Wankhede — England smashed nine sixes; Gayle trumped them with a mind-numbing 11 of his own. Quite fittingly, his 47-ball 100 ensured the West Indies won its Group 1 opener in emphatic fashion by six wickets and with as many as 11 deliveries to spare.

> Full Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

As is his wont, Gayle made the 183-run target look like child’s play. And the England attack? David Willey, Reece Topley, Ben Stokes, Ali… he spared none of them, repeatedly depositing their offerings to the far corners of the ground and, at times, attempting to even clear the railed roof. The 10 wides that England conceded didn’t help its cause either.

A quiet start

Surprisingly enough, Gayle was quiet to begin with. In fact, it was Marlon Samuels who turned on the style by making room and cracking an impressive eight boundaries during his 27-ball 37, virtually relegating Gayle to spectator status. But Gayle probably knew his time would come. And, when it did, he was ready to take over. > Read: Gayle's batting is as simple as it looks - Simmons

By the time he hit Adil Rashid for consecutive sixes in the ninth over, both over long-on, Gayle had got five maximums on the night. A little later, Ben Stokes thought he’d intimidate the intimidator with some short-pitched stuff. Big mistake! Gayle plundered him over deep square-leg. Twice over!

Day two of World Twenty20 in pics, >here

Sucker punch

It was now time for the sucker punch. Barely interested in running the ones and twos and seldom distracted by the fall of wickets — Johnson Charles, Samuels, Denesh Ramdin and Dwayne Bravo all got carried away — Gayle singled out Moeen Ali for some special treatment in the 14th over. Those three consecutive murderous sixes, one huger than the other, took him past England’s tally of sixes. Just like that.

Into the 80s, and with the game more or less in the bag, Gayle then pulled David Willey for his 11th of the night. With 15 needed and more than four overs to go, he chose to calm down. Save for that warrior-like celebration upon reaching his hundred, the remainder of the evening was rather uneventful!

Chris Gayle: Runs -100; Strike rate - 208.33; Balls/boundary - 3, Scoring shots (%) - 62.5





In the first half of the game, England threatened to go into overdrive on several occasions, but the West Indies always found a way to pull things back. But, in the end, a string of handy cameos meant England had enough to bowl at. Or maybe not.

Joe Root (48) was the glue that held England together. His 36-ball stay was as lively as it was assuring, but he fell at a rather inopportune time. Batting at No. 4, Jos Buttler justified his promotion with a breezy 30. On his part, skipper Eoin Morgan stayed there till the end, taking England past the 180-run mark with a 14-ball 27. England would have expected opener Alex Hales to do better than he did. Save a hat-trick of boundaries he collected off leg-spinner Samuel Badree, Hales never got going. He consumed 26 deliveries for just 28, but that was thanks mainly to Jerome Taylor and Badree who gave away just five runs off the first two overs.

Both teams went in with two spinners, with the West Indies leaving Test and ODI skipper Jason Holder out. In the end, though, it was all about the Gayle show!

> Watch the Gayle show