Mumbai, March 16 (IANS) Swashbuckling West Indian batsman Chris Gayle blasted an unbeaten 100 in just 48 balls to steer his side to a comfortable six-wicket victory against England in their Group 1 World Twenty20 cricket clash at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.
Batting first, England posted 183/6 in 20 overs, thanks to Joe Root’s 48.
In reply, the hard-hitting batsman from the Caribbean unleashed his batting skills as he struck five boundaries and 11 massive sixes to take his team to victory as the team scored 183/4 in 18.1 overs.
Chasing a challenging target of 183, West Indies got off to a disappointing start losing opener Johnson Charles (0) of the second bowl of the innings.
But his opening partner, Gayle played sensibly without taking any undue risk.
Gayle was well supported at the other end by incoming batsman Marlon Samuels (37 off 27). The duo added crucial 55 runs partnership for the second wicket to take team’s score past 50-run mark.
But leg-spinner Adil Rashid broke the partnership in the seventh over dismissing Samuels.
Wickets in the other end did not stop Gayle from scoring as he took some calculated risks to bring up his half-century off just 27 balls.
Dinesh Ramdin (12) held on at the other end along with Gayle but a silly shot from the wicket-keeper batsman in the 12th over saw him head back to the pavilion, leaving West Indies at 103/3.
Gayle stayed calm, composed and took on the bowling to bring up his ton in just 47 balls. He was well assisted by Andre Russell (15 not out) as the duo ensured their side got past England’s total to register their first victory of the competition.
David Willey, Reece Topley, Rashid and Moeen Ali claimed one wicket each for England.
Earlier put into bat on a green-top wicket, openers Alex Hales (27) and Jason Roy (15) gave England a positive start scoring 36 off the first four overs.
But medium pacer Russell brought the first breakthrough in the third ball off the fifth over by dismissing Roy.
Incoming batsman Joe Root (48) along with opener Hales scored at a good pace from there on to bring up a 50-run partnership for the second wicket in just 34 balls and take the score past 80 in 10 overs.
But as Hales was looking good after striking four boundaries, off-spinner Sulieman Benn castled the right-handed batsman in the 12th over to reduce England to 92/2.
England received yet another blow as set batsman Root, looking good to bring up his half-century, fell short as he tried to go over the top and was eventually caught at mid-off by Jerome Taylor off the bowling off Russell.
England lost the momentum losing two wickets in quick succession reaching 114/3 in 14.2 overs.
A late assault by Jos Buttler (30 off 20), aided by skipper Eoin Morgan (27 not out off 14) and Ben Stokes (15 off 7) helped them reach a respectable total.
Andre Russell (2/36) and Dwayne Bravo (2-41) were the pick of bowlers for the West Indies.
Brief score: England 182/6 in 20 overs (Joe Root 48; Andre Russell 2-36, Dwayne Bravo 2-41) vs West Indies 183/4 in 18.1 overs (Chris Gayle 100 not out; David Willey 1-33, Reece Topley 1-21, Adil Rashid 1-20, Moeen Ali 1-38)