Morgan pays Gayle his dues

Eoin Morgan accepted that it was Chris Gayle’s night after the West Indian’s sensational hundred defeated England in their first game at this year’s ICC World Twenty20.

Gayle smashed 11 sixes in his 100 not out from 48 balls, which saw the Windies chase 183 with six wickets 11 deliveries to spare at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

The left-handed opener crucially nullified Adil Rashid, one of England’s most dangerous bowlers, with two straight maximums against the leg-spinner.

Morgan heaped praise on Gayle, who during his innings became the most prolific six-hitter in T20 internationals.

“He was outstanding today,” said captain Morgan.

“He’s a world-class player and he played really well. You can’t fault him…it was chanceless as well.

“Everyone knows how he plays, he’s played that way for a very long time, and coming into the game we knew if he did get himself in to expect that.

“It was his night. He’s probably the best that’s played Adil over the last year or so and that posed another question that hasn’t been asked in a while.”

Eoin Morgan shakes hands with match-winner Chris Gayle, who flayed 11 sixes in his unbeaten 100

England’s 182 for six, built around 48 from Joe Root, had looked to be a decent score.

Yet even sharp bowling from David Willey initially and later by Moeen Ali could not stop an accelerating Gayle.

“We could have been better. Our plans were pretty good, our execution was alright,” added Morgan, who today made his 57th T20 international appearance to become England’s most capped played in the format.

“We bowled at about 80 or 90 per cent. I don’t think it was outstanding but I certainly think we bowled with a bit of aggression.

“There were a number of plans…but he has a huge ability to take down any one of our bowlers in one over.

“We thought 180 was competitive but 200 is what we were aiming for. At no stage did we really get going, guys got in but we never really got away from the West Indies.”

Gayle relished his second T20 international ton – and first since the curtain-raiser of the inaugural World T20 in 2007.

“I was pumped today. Before I went out, Sulieman Benn said ‘entertain me’,” he said. “Hopefully I can entertain again.”

Source: ECB

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