Chris Gayle signed off his last One Day International in the West Indies with a record half century in the fifth match against England at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Saint Lucia on Saturday in yet another innings that made little work of the English attack.
Chasing a paltry 113, Gayle set off from the get-go striking three fours in the first over bowled by Chris Woakes and then went on to plunder 23 runs in the third over -- off Woakes -- that included three sixes. And this was despite claiming to have walked out with the wrong bat as he made his way towards the pitch.
He eventually reached his fifty in 19 balls and became the fastest West Indian to reach the milestone, surpassing Darren Sammy's benchmark by a delivery. Gayle, slated to play for Kings XI Punjab in the upcoming VIVO Indian Premier League, milked 26 runs off five balls from Mark Wood before his off stump was uprooted in the last ball of the over.
#WIvENG 'Gayle Storm' has hit St. Lucia!🌩⛈🌪 Chris Gayle now has the fastest ODI Half Century by a WINDIES Batsman! 50 off just 19 balls! 🔥🔥🔥 #MenInMaroon #ItsOurGame #ChrisGayle #GayleForce pic.twitter.com/Pc5fsY3NUt— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 2, 2019
Gayle departed with 77 off just 27 balls, with 5 fours and 9 maximums that accounted for 74 runs in boundaries alone. He finished the series with a record 424 runs, the most in a series batting four or fewer innings.
Highest % of runs in boundaries in an ODI inning: (Min: 50 runs)— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) March 2, 2019
96.15 - Andre Fletcher v BAN, 2009 (50 out of 52)
96.10 - Brendon McCullum v ENG, 2015 (74 out of 77)
96.10 - CHRIS GAYLE v ENG, Today (74 out of 77)#WIvENG
With another record 39 sixes to his name in the series, he was named Man of the Series for his efforts.
England have suffered the Gayle of all Gayles pic.twitter.com/1FuHqDIYQN— simon hughes (@theanalyst) March 2, 2019
Most sixes by a batsman in a series/ tournament:— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) March 2, 2019
39 Chris Gayle v Eng, 2019 (4 inns)
26 Chris Gayle (World Cup'15 (6 inns)
23 Rohit Sharma v Aus, 2013 (6 inns) #WIvENG
Updated.....— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) March 2, 2019
Sixes hit in this ODI series:
All England batsmen: 37
Chris Gayle: 39#WIvENG
"Man of the series, aged 39, come on youngsters, what's happening!" he quipped.
"This has to be my best ODI tournament, but I'm not a stats person. But to be able to do this at home, it's outstanding," he reflected. "The captain said he can't understand how I can announce my retirement when I'm striking it so well.
"At one stage I thought, is this going to be my last innings in the Caribbean for the West Indies, so I thought I'd go out on a high," he added.