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Gayle not enough to save WI


EZRA STUART

Gayle not enough to save WI

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Chris Gayle’s six-hitting spree was in vain as the West Indies spilled a golden chance to beat world No.1 ranked England in a high-scoring day-night match before a capacity crowd at Kensington Oval. 

With the West Indies flooring as many as five catches, England, propelled by centuries from opener Jason Roy and Joe Root achieved their highest ever run-chase take a 1-0 lead in the five-match Colonial Medical Insurance One-Day International series.

Gayle smashed 12 sixes and three fours in making 135 off 129 balls, his 24th ODI ton, while the West Indies hit a world record 23 sixes in posting 360 for eight off 50 overs.

But that total wasn’t enough as England, led by a brisk seventh century from opener Roy, sped to 364 for four off 48.4 overs to win with eight balls to spare.

Roy’s rollicking 123 was decorated with 15 fours and three sixes off 85 balls as he set the tone for England to notch the third highest ever run-chase in a One-Day International and the highest total in 36 ODIs at the historic venue.

When Roy departed at 205-2 after 27 overs, Root rode his luck in fashioning 102, his 14th ODI hundred, which was adorned by nine fours off 97 balls after he was dropped thrice.  

Captain Eoin Morgan also contributed a fluent 65 off 51 balls, laced with four fours and three sixes.

Morgan linked up with Root to add 116 for the third wicket as the Windies’ bowlers were ineffective on a placid pitch, which yielded 724 runs.

The Windies surprisingly entrusted leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo with the new ball but the ploy backfired as England raced to 50 without loss in six overs.

Holder made the breakthrough but Roy, who reached his 50 off 30 balls, never took his foot off the gas.

When pacer Oshane Thomas was recalled at 148 for one after 20, overs, Roy powerfully pulled a short ball through midwicket for four and then launched him wide off long-off for another four to move into the 90s.

He reached his century off just 65 balls, smashing off-spinner Nurse for a straight six.

Roy, who had already hit 13 fours, celebrated reaching the landmark off 65 balls with an off-driven six over long-off to end the over.

Bishoo was unlucky not to have Roy’s wicket a few times in a new spell with Pooran and Bravo dropping chances.

While Bravo made amends in Bishoo’s next over Nurse, who had an awful night in the field, was unable to hold onto a firm cut at point when Root was 46 off Thomas.   

Nurse also missed Root on 62 at third man off Holder and by the time Thomas removed Morgan, England were well on course for victory. Root fell with the scores level, leaving Jos Buttler to hit the winning runs. (EZS)

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