Gayle sets batting mark against England at Cricket World Cup
SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Chris Gayle took his time getting off the mark, miscued a few shots, was dropped in the deep and finally hit and cleared the boundary on consecutive deliveries in surpassing the great Viv Richards as leading scorer in one-day cricket internationals between West Indies and England.
Gayle’s 36 in the World Cup group game against England was eventful on Friday, as expected for the West Indies opening batsman who calls himself Universe-Boss.
The 39-year-old left-hander started the game with 1,596 career runs in ODIs against England. He surpassed Richards’ record of 1,619 in bilateral ODIs when he drove Chris Woakes down the ground for a boundary. Just for good measure, he drove the next ball over long-on for six.
After scoring one run from the first 15 deliveries he faced on a cold, overcast morning at Hampshire’s Rose Bowl, Gayle went on the attack.
His first boundary came from a thick, bottom edge against Barbados-born England placeman Jofra Archer in the fourth over.
In Archer’s next over, Gayle drove straight back down the ground in a shot that could have broken bones if the bowler didn’t dodge the ball, and he swatted the following delivery through mid-wicket for a boundary despite mis-timing the ball.
He was on 15 in the seventh over when he got a thick top edge off Woakes and skied it toward third man, where Mark Wood grabbed the ball in both hands but dropped it when his elbows hit the ground.
Gayle appeared to find his rhythm after a couple more mis-timed shots on a pitch that may have been softer under the surface than anticipated.
But his 41-ball knock came to an end in the 13th over when he hit Liam Plunkett into the outfield and was caught by Jonny Bairstow.
At that stage, West Indies was 54-2 after being sent into bat by top-ranked England. It was a massive wicket for England, too, considering Gayle averaged 106 after scoring 424 runs in the tied series in the Caribbean in March.
He now has 1,632 runs in ODIs against England, a team he may never play again in this format.