Chris Gayle blasted a 47-ball century as the West Indies crushed England by six wickets in a Group 1 match of the Super 10 stage in the ICC World T20, at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, on Wednesday.
Electing to bat first, England posted a healthy 182 for six in their 20 overs before Gayle's magical innings of 100 not out off 48 balls, which included five fours and a record 11 sixes, took West Indies to an easy victory with 11 balls to spare.
The swashbuckling opener went on the attack very early on, hitting medium pacer Resse Topley for a four and a six in the second over to rally West Indies after they had lost Johnson Charles (0) in the first over.
Gayle and Marlon Samuels put the innings back on track with a quickfire stand of 55 runs from 38 balls before the latter was caught by Adil Rashid off David Willey.
But Gayle did not hold back and smashed two sixes off leg-spinner Rashid in the ninth over.
There was no stopping the left-hander, who slammed medium pacer Ben Stokes for consecutive sixes over deep square leg to get 18 runs from the 11th over before he raced to his fifty in the next, off 27 balls, having hit three fours and five sixes.
While Gayle was going full throttle, the West Indies kept losing wickets at the other end.
Dinesh Ramdin (12) top edged a sweep shot off Moeen Ali and was caught at short fine leg for 12, while Dwayne Bravo lost his wicket in the next over, when he was caught down the leg side for two.
Gayle then took the attack to off-spinner Ali, blasting him for three back-to-back sixes over long-on to score 22 runs from the over and bring the equation down to 37 needed from six overs for victory.
The left-hander smashed pacer David Willey for two sixes and a four to race into the 90s, in the 16th over, as England's bowlers suffered.
Earlier, Joe Root hit an impressive 48 to power England to a healthy 182 for six in their 20 overs.
He struck two sixes and three fours in his 36-ball knock while Jos Buttler (20-ball 30) and captain Eoin Morgan (27 not out in 14 balls) contributed with vital cameos.
For the West Indies, pacers Andre Russell (2 for 36) and Dwayne Bravo (2 for 41) claimed two wickets each.
After being put in to bat, England started off cautiously before taking the attack to the Windies bowlers.
Roy took advantage of a wayward Jerome Taylor and hit the pacer for two boundaries as the over went for 18 runs, including five wides.
Leg-spinner Samuel Badree conceded 13 runs, with Hales slamming him for three consecutive boundaries to make it 31 runs from the last two overs.
Pacer Andre Russell checked England’s progress with the wicket of Jason Roy in his first over, the right-hander being caught at midwicket for 15, in the fifth over.
Despite that wicket, England were able to sustain the momentum as they reached 49 for one in six overs, making most of the Powerplay.
Root adopted a positive approach right from the start as he hooked Russell for a six in the seventh over before slamming Carlos Braithwhite for two fours off successive balls in the ninth over.
England were well-placed at the halfway stage at 81 for one in 10 overs.
Taylor was hit for another six in his comeback, Root despatching him over midwicket before Suleiman Benn broke the dangerous partnership.
Benn bowled Hales for 28 after he had put on 55 from 40 balls for the second wicket with Root.
Root departed after seeing England's score past the 100-run mark, offering a tame catch to mid-off after being deceived by Russell's slower ball in the 15th over. He struck two sixes and three fours.
Buttler and Morgan took England past the 150-run mark and towards the end Morgan, who hit two sixes and one four, and Stokes helped England add 30 in the last three