Thomas, Gayle star in crushing win


Posted on: March 3, 2019

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Oshane Thomas's maiden five-fer, followed by Chris Gayle's record-breaking half-century in a brutal batting assault on England pacers, helped Windies draw the five-match ODI series 2-2 with a commanding seven-wicket win in the final fixture, at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St. Lucia on Saturday (March 2). Windies, thus averted their 18th series loss on the trot in the format.

Windies meant business in the series decider, and showed exactly that with their clinical bowling show to skittle England for just 113, but the lowly target didn't stop Gayle from having his own fun. The left-handed opener slammed the fastest fifty for a West Indian, off just 19 deliveries, studded with half-a-dozen sixes, to better Sammy's record of 20 balls, and in the process, set up the hosts' easy win with more than 36 overs to spare and even before a formal "innings break".

Set a target of 114, Gayle blew the English bowlers away with his whirlwind 27-ball 77 that included nine sixes and five more boundaries. He went after Chris Wokaes and later Mark Wood, but almost single-handedly dictated the chase for the eight overs that he lasted in the middle.

Woakes was hit for back-to-back boundaries and then a six in his opening over itself, and there was no turning back from there. His next over yielded 23 runs, including three sixes. Wookes, and England, momentarily thought the carnage was over when he had the batsman caught in the deep off a short delivery but the umpire deemed it a no-ball for it was his third bouncer in the over. Gayle took the attack to Wood next, who was dispatched for five sixes and a boundary in the space of two overs.

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