New Delhi: The indomitable West Indies opener Chris Gayle showed why he is considered the king of Twenty20 world with a brutal innings of 100* off 48 balls against England on Wednesday at Mumbai.
Chasing an otherwise impressive total of 182 for 6 wickets at Wankhede Stadium in their first 2016 ICC World Twenty20 Group I match, West Indies reached the target with 11 balls to spare with Gayle hitting his second T20 World Cup century.
He is also the first player to hit a century in the history of tournament, against South Africa in 2007.
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After winning the toss, West Indies skipper Darren Sammy asked England to bat first. English batsmen played well to compile a big total, with Joe Root (48) and Jos Buttler (30) leading the charge.
For West Indies, Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo took two wickets each.
Gayle, whose marauding unbeaten innings in the Super 10 Group 1 game kept the crowd at the Wankhede Stadium on their feet throughout, had struck 11 sixes and five fours today as he carried his bat through the innings.
He also became the highest number of six hitter in T20 Internationals with 92 in his name now.
After the early loss of his opening partner Johnson Charles (0), the 36-year-old Gayle put on 55 runs in 39 balls for the second wicket with Marlon Samuels, who struck 37 in 27 balls with eight fours, and 46 in 27 balls with Dinesh Ramdin (12) for the third.
Later, Gayle put on an unconquered stand of 70 for the fifth wicket with Andre Russell (16 not out) to guide his team past England's total with 11 balls to spare as West Indies made 183 for four.
The six-hitting spree by the West Indian giant flattened England's hopes as he was particularly severe on their two spinners -- leggie Adil Rashid and offie Moeen Ali, besides pacer Ben Stokes.
Rashid was carted for successive sixes into the second tier of the stands by Gayle to set the tone and then smote Stokes for successive leg-side sixes before turning his attention to Ali's off-spin to pummel him for three successive sixes over long on to virtually end England's chances in the 14th over.