By Lee Dolbear
- Chris Gayle century blast stuns England
- 182 not enough, despite respectable start
- Pakistan tame Bangladesh
MUMBAI, INDIA – England were soundly beaten by brute force against West Indies in Group 1 opener, and elsewhere Pakistan overwhelmed Bangladesh in Group 2.
England were left stunned today after Chris Gayle smashed a typically aggressive ton in just 48 balls after they set the Windies 183 to win.
England were put into bat after West Indies captain Darren Sammy won the toss. They racked up a respectable 182/6 from their 20 overs with all batsmen scoring at a run a ball or better. Openers Jason Roy (15) and Alex Hales (37) got England off to a decent foundation, before Andre Russell had Roy caught by Samuel Badree and Suilieman Benn clean bowled Hales with a full delivery.
The momentum was still with England, Joe Root added 48 to the total off just 36 balls and late fireworks from Jos Buttler (30), Ben Stokes (15), Moeen Ali (7) and skipper Eion Morgan who finished unbeaten on 27 left the West Indies eyeing 183 to win the game.
It looked a promising start by England, David Willey got Johnson Charles second ball after he was caught by Ali at midwicket. Marlon Samuels then joined Gayle out in the middle and so their fun began.
Gayle put on a steady 55 partnership with Samuels then in ruthless fashion smashed both Adil Rashid and Stokes for successive sixes, before cracking three maximums in a row off Ali. He ended up crashing 11 bazookas to beat his old world T20 record by one and now has 98 in total in this format’s history, another record he currently holds.
West Indies got home with 11 balls to spare and after the game a jubilant Gayle told Sky Sports “The preparation has been really, really good – it’s all about practicing your skills and then you can exploit it out there in the middle. It worked for me today – it was a good wicket to bat on.”
His skipper Sammy added “We just have to focus on what we have in the dressing room and the belief we have in ourselves, especially in this format. We will play our cricket and continue to entertain. We are in it to win it and with performances like that we have put ourselves in a good position.”