In the end, they were left wondering what hit them. It had seemed that 183 was an intimidating enough target that England set up for the West Indies in Mumbai yesterday, but they had not reckoned with a force called Chris Gayle.
Coming in to open the West Indian innings, Gayle stood firm at the pitch right till the end, when he nailed victory for his side, remaining not out at 100. He’s the only batsman in the world to have scored two centuries in the World T20. If there were records to be broken, they were his own; the towering left-handed batsman hit 11 hefty sixes, the highest in a T20 previously being his own tally of 10. Gayle’s solid 55-run partnership with Marlon Samuels (37) paved the way for the West Indies victory over England by six wickets.
England spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid were helpless in the face of Gayle’s strong defense. In an over in which he gave away 22 runs, Moeen Ali was left bewildered by three consecutive sixes that flew off Gayle’s bat.
In the first innings, Joe Root (48) and Jos Buttler (30) steered England to the impressive total of 182. In the last over, Buttler and Morgan put in a flurry of 18 runs that added mass to the England tally. Their hopes of setting up too tall an order for West Indies, however, were dashed by the one-man war machine that is Chris Gayle.