England humbled by brilliant Gayle
ENGLAND 182/6 (20.0 overs)
West Indies won toss and opted to field first.
Chris Gayle's brutal unbeaten century sent England to a chastening six-wicket defeat by West Indies in their opening match of the World Twenty20 in Mumbai.
Gayle struck 11 sixes in his 47-ball hundred, the joint-third fastest in T20 internationals and became the first man to score two tons in the World T20.
He took West Indies to their target of 183 with 11 balls to spare.
Joe Root earlier made 48 in a total of 182-6, the highest score England have failed to defend in a Twenty20.
England, champions in 2010, next meet South Africa on Friday knowing that defeat would push them to the verge of elimination.
Despite lifting the trophy six years ago, England have lost 15 of the 28 matches they have played in World T20 tournaments.
England's chances of success were always going to rest on containing Gayle and, at first, he was kept quiet by only facing 18 of the first 48 balls in the West Indies innings.
However, he exploded to life by hitting Adil Rashid for two sixes over long-on and, after that, decimated the England attack.
Ben Stokes was twice sent over the square-leg fence, while three successive straight maximums off Moeen Ali in the 14th over effectively ended the contest.
Two more leg-side sixes off David Willey took him through the 90s and single off Chris Jordan saw Gayle match the three figures he reached in the first World T20 match against South Africa in 2007.
The suspicion before the tournament was that England's bowling could be a weakness and the inaccuracy of the attack was exposed by the brilliant Gayle, who was barely asked to hit square of the wicket on the off side.
The evening dew made gripping the ball difficult, but the pace attack still failed to use English-style conditions of a green-tinged pitch and swing in the air.
Too often the pace quartet of Willey, Jordan, Stokes and Reece Topley missed their lengths, either with short balls or full-tosses, while England also managed to bowl 10 wides.
Rashid briefly impressed with his leg-spin before he was belted out of the attack by Gayle.
England were well-placed when Root and Alex Hales shared 55 for the second wicket, but stalled after Hales was yorked by left-arm spinner Suliemann Benn.
England had reached 92-1 from 11 overs but, after Hales' departure, added 36 in the next five overs, finding the boundary only three times as the West Indies took pace off the ball.
Root's classy 48 was ended when he slapped Andre Russell to mid-off, with scoring given a late boost by three sixes from Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan's unbeaten 27 from 14 balls.
England's total looked competitive. Gayle proved it was anything but.
- Gayle has hit 93 sixes in Twenty20 international cricket, passing Brendon McCullum's previous record of 91, having played 25 fewer games
- His 11 sixes is the most in an innings at the World T20 and the third most in all T20 internationals
- At one point in his innings, Gayle took five sixes from 10 balls
- His 47-ball century is the joint third-fastest in T20 internationals
- West Indies reaching 183 was the fifth-highest successful runchase in a World T20 match