Chris Gayle produced a stunning, six-laden century as England’s T20 campaign began with a humbling defeat to the West Indies in Mumbai.
Now 36, Gayle remains the game’s most compelling performer when the mood takes him and he laid waste England’s fragile bowling attack at the Wankhede Stadium, clubbing 11 sixes and five fours on his way to 100 not out in 48 balls. Gayle made a walk in the park out of England’s 182 for six, leading his side over the line with six wickets and 11 balls remaining.
Remarkably, this was only Gayle’s second hundred in the format, to go with 16 in domestic cricket, having scored his first in the inaugural World T20 nine years ago. He is now the most prolific six-hitter in T20 internationals with 98, reclaiming the mantle from the retired Brendon McCullum.
For England, this was a familiar feeling. They have now lost all four of their World T20 matches against the islanders and already face the possibility of a group stage exit.
Their batting had looked in reasonably good order, Joe Root compiling 48 in 36 balls, with strong support from Jos Buttler (30) and Eoin Morgan (27no), but their efforts were overshadowed by Gayle’s brilliance. In dewy conditions, England simply could not compete.