PALLEKELE— A brilliant all-round 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 yesterday. 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. “We backed ourselves to set a target, and Chris and Charles got us going well,” West Indies captain Darren Sammy said. “With (Sunil) Narine, (Marlon) Samuel, Chris (Gayle), we decided to maximise our spinners against England and it worked out.”
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 a straight four off the first ball but the off-spinner conceded just four runs in the remaining five balls. 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 lassoing-action dancing in the popular “Gangnam style” video. Ravi Rampaul had earlier derailed England's run chase by taking two wickets in successive balls with England yet to score. Sammy kept the pressure on by tying up one end with his spin bowlers.
“We had to regroup, obviously losing two wickets in that first over hurt us but we showed how good the wicket was,” England captain Stuart Broad said. “The bowlers kept them to a below-par score, so we're disappointed not to have chased that. We've got to stop losing early wickets because it’s hurting us.” Earlier, after West Indies elected to bat, Charles smashed ten 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. England next meets New Zealand while Sri Lanka takes on West Indies in another double-header at the same venue tomorrow.
England vs West Indies
J Charles c Bairstow b Dernbach 84
C Gayle c Finn b Swann 58
M Samuels c Morgan b Broad 2
K Pollard c Wright b Finn 1
D Bravo not out 11
D Sammy b Broad 4
A Russell not out 10
Extras: (1b, 7lb, 1w) 9
TOTAL: (for five wickets) 179
Fall of wickets: 1-103, 2-118, 3-128, 4-154, 5-158.
Bowling: Finn 4-0-26-1, Dernbach 4-0-38-1, Broad 4-1-26-2, Swann 3-0-32-1, Patel 4-0-38-0, Wright 1-0-11-0 (1w).
C Kieswetter c Pollard b Rampaul 0
A Hales st Ramdin b Samuels 68
L Wright c Gayle b Rampaul 0
J Bairstow c Pollard b Gayle 18
E Morgan not out 71
J Buttler not out 1
Extras: (1b, 1lb, 4w) 6
TOTAL: (for four wickets) 164
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-0, 3-55, 4-162.
Bowling: Rampaul 4-1-37-2, Badree 4-0-20-0, Narine 4-0-33-0 (2w), Sammy 1-0-13-0, Gayle 4-0-27-1, Samuels 3-0-32-1 (2w)
Toss: West Indies.
Result: West Indies won by 15 runs
Umpires: Steve Davis, Australia, and Asad Rauf, Pakistan.