PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka: A brilliant allround performance by Chris Gayle led West Indies to a stunning 15-run win over defending champion England in the Super Eights of the World Twenty20 last night.
Gayle smashed 58 off 35 balls and featured in a century stand with Johnson Charles, who made 84 off 56 deliveries in West Indies’ total of 179-5.
West Indies’ four-pronged spin attack then exposed England top order’s vulnerability to slow bowling on subcontinent wickets, restricting the reply to 164-4 in the Group 1 match. Eoin Morgan hit an unbeaten 71 off 36 balls and Alex Hales scored 68 off 51 balls before he was bowled in the last over.
Morgan showed the way for England, smashing four boundaries and five sixes, but by the time the left-hander arrived at the crease his team required 125 in the last 10 overs.
Needing 23 off the last over, Morgan smashed Marlon Samuels for straight four off the first ball but the offspinner conceded just further four runs.
Gayle bowled an impressive spell of 1-27 off four overs, taking the wicket of Jonny Bairstow. He then celebrated the dismissal by simulating the dancing in the popular “Gangnam style” video with a lassoing action.
Ravi Rampaul had earlier derailed England’s run chase by taking two wickets in successive balls with England yet to score. Captain Darren Sammy kept the pressure on by tying up one end with spin.
Earlier, after West Indies elected to bat, Charles smashed 10 fours and three sixes in his belligerent knock while Gayle belted six fours and four sixes.
The batsmen put on a platform of 103 off 66 balls by punishing England’s seamers and spinners with a flurry of boundaries under the lights at Pallekele International Stadium.
Gayle welcomed Samit Patel by smacking him for three sixes on the leg side in the left-arm spinner’s first over. Charles hammered offspinner Graeme Swann for two sixes and a four in similar fashion.
Swann could have removed both openers in successive deliveries, but Steven Finn dropped a skier from Charles on 39 before holding Gayle off the next ball.
England hit back briefly through captain Stuart Broad, who claimed 2-26, but West Indies still managed to score 76 runs in the last nine overs.
Broad also bowled a wicket-maiden when he had Samuels caught at point, while Charles was out when he played a tired-looking stroke off seamer Jade Dernbach to Jonny Bairstow at long-on in the 18th over.
(Gulf Daily News Report)