ODI: Gayle’s special, Buttler’s onslaught highlight high-scoring day
SUMMARY: England 418-6 from 50 overs (Buttler 150, Morgan 103, Hales 82, Bairstow 56, Brathwaite 2-69, Thomas 2-84) beat West Indies 389 all out in 48 overs (Gayle 162, Bravo 61, Brathwaite 50, Nurse 43, Holder 29, Rashid 5-85, Wood 4-60) by 29 runs
Chris Gayle scored his 25th ton, crossed 10,000 ODI runs and notched up his 500th six in international cricket, but West Indies still went down to England by 29 runs in a high-scoring encounter in Grenada on Wednesday.
Chasing a mammoth 419 in the fourth ODI, West Indies were in it when Gayle was on fire, as he smashed 162 off 97 balls, an innings that was embellished with 14 sixes.
The innings however, ended swiftly at 389 with two overs to spare, as England seized a 2-1 series lead with a game to play.
Gayle’s knock followed scores of 135 and 50 in the first two matches in Barbados.
The hard-hitting Jamaican, playing his 288th game, and Darren Bravo, who made 61, put on 176 for the third wicket, but once the latter departed, Shimron Hetmyer fell soon after for a second-ball six and West Indies lost the momentum.
Gayle and Jason Holder then added 69, before Carlos Brathwaite (50) and Ashley Nurse (43) forged an 88-run seventh wicket partnership in 12 overs to swing the match West Indies way.
However, with the home side needing 32 off 18 balls, leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed both batsmen off consecutive deliveries and then wrapped up the innings three balls later, finishing with 5-85.
Mark Wood picked up the first four wickets, conceding 60 runs off his 10 overs.
Earlier, England were driven by a 204-run fourth wicket partnership between skipper Eion Morgan and Jos Buttler in an innings that featured a world record 24 sixes.
Buttler smashed 150 off 77 balls, a performance that included 12 sixes and 13 fours, while Morgan continued his fine form with 103 off 88 balls, including six sixes.
Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow put on a century opening partnership to set the foundation for the huge total. Hales, playing his first match of the series, blazed to 82 off 73 and Bairstow 56 off 43.
All the West Indian bowlers went at over 6.8 runs per over. The final match of the series is set for St. Lucia on March 2.
Post-match comments (compliments ESPNCricinfo)
England captain Eoin Morgan: “Hell of a game, hope people enjoyed it. We went toe to toe with the West Indies. We were fortunate with that spell from Adil to get us over the line. We needed something special. I thought as a group we batted brilliantly, it brought the best out of all of us. Bairstow and Hales laid the platform and gave me and Jos and chance to build a partnership. Jos is like a champions race horse and watching him in full flow is something. But I thought West Indies played so well and gave it their all. Lot of people talk about them being No9 in the world, but there’s not a huge deal between the teams. They turned us over in the last game and have gone toe to toe with us. They are a strong side. Adil is an extremely strong asset, can bowl anywhere in the 50 overs and he has his variations. He got rhythm and purchase off the pitch. To come back and bowl an over where he takes three wickets and wins us the game is outstanding. This was such a close game,it could have gone either way. We were fighting a tough battle. The more games we play under pressure, stay calm and execute, the better for us.”
West Indies captain Jason Holder: “Definitely, the guys stuck to it and gave a good effort, credit to Chris, batting the way he batted was outstanding an unfortunately we couldn’t get there in the end. It was a good surface to bat on, both teams struggled to contain. Credit to both sides. Buttler was outstanding at the end. We had to go at it, we had a good start and kept momentum going, but we weren’t able to get there at the end. Not to die wondering. We had to go out, knew what we need to keep up with. A few guys kicked on, really good to see support for Chris. Right up there, to be at the top of the innings, two new ball, hit’s commendable. To get 10,000 runs in any format of cricket is something special.”
Man-of-the-Match Jos Buttler: “It was an incredible game. Put under a lot of pressure, Chris playing fantastic innings, but delighted with a win. [Your innings?] Fantastic, we talked on the bench about having a right-left combo, being able to attack one side all the time, so managed to sneak up the order and make the most of it. Been tough for the bowlers, in Barbados as well, the wind makes a huge difference. Guys work hard on range hitting, all around the world these days, we have a powerful line-up and have been utilising that well over the last few years. Had three fantastic games so far, sure it will be a great game in St Lucia.”