Chris Gayle’s rapid half-century following an inspired spell of aggressive fast bowling from West Indies ushered them to a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
Gayle thrashed a 33-ball 50, breaking the tournament’s all-time record for most sixes en route, as the Windies overhauled a paltry 106 victory target with a whopping 36.2 overs to spare.
The groundwork, though, had been laid by their pacemen as Pakistan crumbled in the face of a barrage of short balls, Oshane Thomas the main beneficiary with four for 27 in a game which was finished by 2pm and featured only 35.2 overs.
Great bowling against the Pakistani batsmen. This sort of planning is needed every game. Well done!💪— Brian Lara (@BrianLara) May 31, 2019
.#MenInMaroon #Windies #iccworldcup2019 #Excellent #bowling #WIvsPAK #WorldCup2019 #Pakistan #CricketWorldCup @cricketworldcup pic.twitter.com/v1c0vpIFPm
Brian Lara played with and against some fearsome bowlers during his stellar career and the Windies great was quick to hail the game-plan of the current crop.
People have me as a medium-pacer. When I see Andre Russell come on the screen and I'm a medium-pacer, I think, 'who are they talking to?'Andre Russell
In clubbing three sixes during a typically rapid innings, Gayle took his tally in the tournament to 40 maximums, moving clear of former South Africa batsman AB De Villiers. This World Cup is set to be the powerhouse opener’s one-day international farewell but the 39-year-old self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ proved he is still one to watch over the next few weeks.
Gayle was rusty early on and only really got going in the fourth over with back-to-back sixes off the unfortunate Hasan Ali. The second was classic Gayle, who cleared his front leg and smashed the despairing Pakistan paceman back over his head.
He may not get the headlines but Russell provided the bouncer blueprint that allowed Thomas and Windies captain Jason Holder to prosper with a spell of 3-1-4-2. Russell’s first 16 deliveries were all short-pitched and led to the dismissals of Fakhar Zaman and Haris Sohail. The wicket of dangerman Fakhar was particularly instrumental, the Pakistan opener missed a pull shot and the ball hit the grille of his helmet before ricocheting on to the stumps.
June 1: New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Sophia Gardens.
June 1: Afghanistan v Australia at Bristol.