Jos Buttler and Chris Gayle went toe-to-toe with two titanic centuries as England defeated the West Indies through 29 runs in a scintillating fourth one-day world in Grenada.
Buttler made a swaggering, career-best 150 in 77 balls, blazing his remaining hundred runs in simply 31 deliveries as England posted what seemed a mountainous general of 418 for 6.
However the self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ quickly set nerves racing, putting in place an adrenaline-fuelled finale through smashing 162.
A daring overdue salvo from Carlos Brathwaite and Ashley Nurse left the hosts desiring 32 from 18 balls to make the second one biggest chase in ODI historical past however Adil Rashid seized the instant in staggering model – wiping out the Windies remaining 4 wickets within the 48th over to bowl them out for 389.
Regardless of the leg-spinner’s dramatic overdue intervention, Gayle and Buttler had been the day’s headline acts, hitting 26 sixes and 24 barriers between them in livid show of power-hitting.
England in the end had the more potent supporting solid, Eoin Morgan made an excellent 103 of his personal all the way through a 204-run stand with Buttler whilst Mark Wooden and Rashid stood out from the pack on a floor that noticed others bulled into submission.
Whilst the West Indies chase didn’t finally end up within the historical past books England’s tally of 24 maximums – part of which got here from Buttler’s blade – did wreck new floor, eclipsing the file of 23 they conceded in Barbados originally of the sequence.
England’s innings was once the very best ever on Caribbean soil and sits 3rd on their all-time record, achievements that don’t have been imaginable and not using a shocking assault that introduced 154 runs from the overall 10 overs.
Nods are because of Jonny Bairstow’s 56 and Alex Hales’ 82 – the latter deputising for the injured Jason Roy – however despite the fact that they set the tone for an afternoon of heavy hitting their efforts would quickly be eclipsed.
Buttler and Morgan got here in combination at 165 for 3, Joe Root having fallen affordably, and heaped on some other 204 runs in combination in not up to 21 overs.
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The pair had been each soaring round a run-a-ball till the 40th over, simplest then unleashing the entire power in their aggression.
The center of Buttler’s bat took a colossal pounding as he moved from 50 to 100 in 15 dizzying deliveries that integrated a drop on 93, and once more as he raced to 150. Buttler’s merry hitting persevered throughout to the overall over, however he was once denied a no longer out through the perseverance of Brathwaite.
Gayle is one in every of a handful of avid gamers on the earth who would no longer shirk from chasing 419 and the 39-year-old Jamaican picked up Buttler’s baton with a wide ranging ton of his personal.
Denied the luxurious of settling in time, he teed off right away, clattering England’s Mr Dependable Chris Woakes for 5 sixes in 9 balls. Having poked Gayle’s ego with their very own show of muscle, England had been now at the receiving finish.
Stokes was once subsequent to really feel the wrath, with two fours and two sixes from the all-rounder’s first 4 balls. Issues didn’t get any higher in a ragged four-over spell that contained complete tosses, wides or even an unintentional beamer.
Wooden was once combating a lone resistance, eliminating John Campbell and Shai Hope with the brand new ball and returning in his 2d spell so as to add Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer in the similar over. However the sport lived and died at the arc of Gayle’s bat.
Gayle ticked off a buying groceries record of goals – 50 up in 32 balls, a 10,000th one-day run after which his hundred in 55 balls – however was once fatigued by the point Stokes took his stumps on 162.
The general equation left the Windies in the hunt for 95 from the remaining 10 overs, with Brathwaite and Nurse surpassing low expectancies in a boundary-strewn cameo that threatened so as to add one ultimate twist to an afternoon stuffed with leisure.
They had been at the cusp of one thing particular when Rashid stored his composure, tempting each into mis-hits that had been held with nerves of metal through Morgan and Liam Plunkett. He polished off Devendra Bishoo and Oshane Thomas in a rush, offering a swift finish to a excellent struggle.