Hurricane ‘Gayle’ blows away England : Having put up 182 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in 20 overs, England batsmen were satisfied with their performance. Chasing at 9+ an over was never going to be easy.
But what they did not realise was that a catastrophe was waiting to happen.
Having been patient at the non-striking end till the 10th over, facing just 21 deliveries for his 31 runs (3*4, 3*6), with the team score at 85/2, needing 98 more runs from 60 deliveries at 9.8 runs an over, the world’s most dangerous batsman in T20 format, decided to ‘up the ante’.
The 11th over produced 18 runs out of which Gayle scored 13 runs, including two huge sixes.
He brought up his half-century in just 27 deliveries that had 3 fours and 5 huge sixes in the 12th over of the innings.
Gayle went after every bowler. Except for Chris Jordan (4-0-24-0) and Moeen Ali (4-0-38-1) all the other bowlers had an economy rate in excess of 10. Such has been the impact of Gayle, who single-handedly won the game for his team.
The second century in T20Is for Gayle came up in the 18th over of the innings. He had consumed just 47 deliveries to reach the landmark which was studded with 5 fours and 11 sixes.
Earlier, West Indies won the toss and elected to field.
With significant contributions from Alex Hales (28), Joe Root (48), wicket-keeper Jose Butler (30), and the skipper, Eoin Morgan chipping in with and unbeaten 27*, batting down the order, helped England accumulate 182 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in 20 overs.
Jerome Taylor and Dwayne Bravo were very expensive with 10+ economy rate. However, Bravo claimed 2 wickets. Andre Russell accounted for two wickets in his spell of 4 overs, giving away 36 runs while Suleiman Benn accounted for the opener Hales.
The evening clearly belonged to the ‘big man’, Chris Gayle, who was in an entertaining mood and he did entertain the huge gathering at the Wankhede, through his aerial hits, which were sent into orbit.
English batsmen, though could get better starts, could not convert them into big innings, but then, a collective performance of a reasonably good standard helped them reach 182 runs.
West Indies won their tournament opener by 6 wickets with 11 deliveries to spare.
Gayle was adjudged the Player of the Match.
Speaking at the post match presentation, Gayle said, “The preparation has been really good, it”s all about practising then doing it in the middle. The dew played a part as well. After facing the first over I took a while to get back on strike, but Marlon helped ease the pressure. We wanted to stay ahead of the run-rate, pleased to finish the game and not leave it to anyone else. I was pumped today. Before I went out, Sulieman Benn said “entertain me”. The guys who play the IPL know it”s a good wicket so we knew we always had a chance to chase it down. Hopefully we can move onto Sri Lanka now. Bangalore, my home town. Hopefully I can entertain again. The celebration was all about DJ Bravo and his new song.”
West Indies skipper, Darren Sammy said, “It”s always fun watching #worldboss (Gayle). We were quite happy at halfway, at no stage did England get away. To restrict them to nine-an-over we were quite happy. Marlon is a big-match player. I had a feeling it would be his day and the way he took control of the Powerplay. It became quite easy. We aware of all that has been said about our team, but we have belief among ourselves in this format. We will go out and try to entertain.”
England captain, Eoin Morgan, was a disappointed man. He said “We never really took the game away from them. Credit to West Indies. In the chase, things were difficult. Gayle is a hard guy to stop. West Indies didn”t allow us to get going on what was a really good batting surface.”
England next take on South Africa at Mumbai, while West Indies would lock horns with Sri Lanka at Bengaluru.