Chris Gayle smashed the first hundred of the sixth World Twenty20 to underline his reputation as cricket's most destructive batsman and power West Indies to a six-wicket win over England in their Super 10 match on Wednesday.
The tall left-handed opener made a mockery of a steep 183-run target in the Group One match, carrying West Indies to victory with 11 balls to spare on a hot and humid evening at the Wankhede Stadium.
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West Indies star batsman Chris Gayle hit 11 sixes in an unbeaten century to defeat England by six wickets in Mumbai.
Gayle's century was his second in the format and he remained unbeaten on 100 off 48 balls after hitting 11 sixes and five fours. His 98 sixes in World Twenty20 take Gayle to the top of the table.
Marlon Samuels (37) took the early initiative while Gayle took his time to settle down and the pair added 55 for the second wicket to lay down the foundation for a West Indies victory.
It was the sparse crowd at the stadium overlooking the Arabian Sea who were at risk once Gayle decided to open his shoulders and swat everything in his zone over the boundary.
England spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali, hampered more by the dew making the ball difficult to grip, were at the receiving end of Gayle's blitzkrieg with the latter suffering the ignominy of being hit for three consecutive sixes in an over in which he gave away 22 runs.
"It's as simple as he makes it look out there," West Indies coach Phil Simmons said of Gayle's knock.
"He practises hard, hits a lot of balls in the nets but he works it out just as he did it today."
Denesh Ramdin and Dwayne Bravo threw away their wickets in a brief period of concern for West Indies but England captain Eoin Morgan could do little to stop the 36-year-old Gayle take apart his attack.
"He certainly did what he does," Morgan told reporters. "He was outstanding today in conditions that probably favoured the bat more than the ball."
Earlier, a sparkling 48 from Joe Root helped England to 182-6 after West Indies won the toss and opted to bowl on a green-tinged wicket.
Root, who hit three fours and two sixes in his 36-ball knock, and Alex Hales (28) added 55 for the second wicket.
Opener Jason Ray (15) and Hales broke the shackles in the third over as they scored 18 runs off fast bowler Jerome Taylor after West Indies, the 2012 champions, had restricted them to five runs in the first two overs.
Jos Buttler (30) and Morgan (27 not out) provided the late flourish with the 2010 champions taking another 18 runs from the last over by Bravo.
All-rounder Andre Russell, who dismissed Roy and Root, and Bravo picked up two wickets each for West Indies.
In the other match, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi led by example as his team put a tumultuous build-up behind them to launch their bid for a second World Twenty20 title with a 55-run victory against qualifiers Bangladesh on Wednesday.
It took a lot of cajoling from the organisers to convince Pakistan to shed their security apprehensions and once they landed for the tournament, Afridi's comments about getting more love in India than in Pakistan riled up fans back home.
None of it, however, seemed to affect the team who posted a strong 5-201 at Kolkata's Eden Gardens after opting to bat first and restricted their opponents to 6-146 in a lopsided contest.
Afridi blasted a 19-ball 49 and returned to take 2-27 in a personally satisfying outing for the flamboyant 36-year-old all-rounder.
"My performance always plays a key role [for the team] and I was very hungry to perform," he said after collecting his man-of-the-match award.
Afridi had been worried about Pakistan's batting inconsistency and mentioned it at the toss but he had no reasons to complain on Wednesday as the top order fired in unison.