Captain Chris Gayle produced an awesome display of power-hitting here Friday, blasting eight sixes and five fours in 80 off 43 balls to rush the West Indies to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over England in the 3rd Digicel One-Day International at Kensington Oval.
Gayle’s pyrotechnics ushered the home team past England’s modest total of 117 all out off 41.3 overs with nearly 30 overs to spare.
The West Indies wrapped up victory at 117 for two off 14.4 overs.
The 29-year-old Gayle sent a capacity crowd of 19,000 into a frenzy with some scintillating strokes all around the ground.
Two upper cuts sailed several rows back over third man, there were meaty whips over square leg and a number of typically robust hits down the ground.
Dimitri Mascarenhas suffered most, dispatched for 26 off one over, including three sixes, a couple finishing high in the Three Ws Stand overhead.
When James Anderson uprooted Gayle’s off stump as the West Indies captain tried for another maximum, the result was a formaility at 98 for one off 10.2 overs.
Even though Ramnaresh Sarwan fell for 10 before the end, the level-headed Lendl Simmons ended 14 not out and Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit the winning runs.
Earlier, effervescent all-rounder Dwayne Bravo grabbed a career-best four for 19 as England were rocked by a brilliant West Indies bowling display.
Pace ace Fidel Edwards landed the early blows on his way to three for 28.
Kieron Pollard (two for 16), Lionel Baker (one for 21) and Darren Sammy (9-2-19-0) all produced telling contributions.
All-rounder Mascarenhas topscored with 36 off 76 balls to help drag his team to some respectability.
He and Gareth Batty shared a ninth wicket stand of 48 to ensure that England bypassed their lowest ever one-day total of 86 against Australia at Manchester in 1986.
The innings quickly hit the skids once England were sent in on a pacy pitch.
Skipper Andrew Strauss (2) top-edged a pull at Edwards and was well caught by Gayle running back from first slip towards third man.
Ravi Bopara (10) fell two balls later, also perishing to a pull off Edwards that ended up in mid-on’s hands at 17-2.
Bravo soon made his stamp on the match by claiming ace batsman Kevin Pietersen for 3.
Pietersen miscued his ambitious hook stroke to deep square leg where Pollard pouched the catch.
When Shah (17) skewed Baker to backward point and the returning Andrew Flintoff fell for a duck to Bravo, the visitors were 43-5 after 15 overs.
Flintoff was the fourth visiting batsman to fall to a pull stroke, swiveling and depositing a catch straight to Edwards at fine leg.
Bravo soon earned a leg before wicket decision against Paul Collingwood (6) and Pollard added two wickets in one over for the rampant Windies.
Matt Prior (7) slapped a square cut to backward point while Stuart Broad (0) was caught behind off a thin edge as England slid to 68-8 off 25 overs.
Mascarenhas and Batty batted sensibly to lift England past three figures.
Batty compiled 17 off 47 balls before he departed in the Batting Powerplay as he deflected a drive to backward point off Bravo.
Mascarenhas hit three fours before he was last out to Edwards as he deflected a pull to square leg where Bravo fittingly held the catch.
A light interruption for rain at 71 for eight after 26.2 overs reduced the match from 45 to 44 overs per side and meant that the West Indies’ Duckworth/Lewis recalculated target to win will be one run less at exactly 117.
Gayle made sure that was achieved in style.