Swashbuckling West Indian batsman Chris Gayle, whose unbeaten hundred today helped his side thrash England in a World T20 cricket match, attributed his sensational knock to strenuous practice and preparation in the run-up to the ICC event.
Also view in pictures: The many records set by Chris Gayle
West Indies's Chris Gayle celebrates after scoring his century. Pic/AFP
"The preparation has been really good, it's all about practising and then doing it in the middle," Gayle said after his 100 not out took Windies to a comprehensive six-wicket win. Gayle, who today became the only second batsman after recently retired Brendon McCullum to score two T20 International hundreds, said the flat pitch also helped in his knock.
"The pitch was flat and dew played a part as well. After facing the first over I took a while to get back on strike, but Marlon helped ease the pressure. The guys who play the IPL know it's a good wicket so we knew we always had a chance to chase it down," he said.
"We wanted to stay ahead of the run-rate, pleased to finish the game and not leave it to anyone else. I was pumped yesterday. "Before I went out, Sulieman Benn said 'entertain me'. Hopefully we can move onto Sri Lanka now. Bangalore, my home town. Hopefully I can entertain again. The celebration was all about DJ Bravo and his new song."
Lauding Gayle for his record-breaking hundred, West Indies captain Darren Sammy said, "It's always fun watching Gayle. "We were quite happy at halfway, at no stage did England get away. To restrict them to nine-an-over we were quite happy. Marlon is a big-match player. I had a feeling it would be his day and the way he took control of the Powerplay," said Sammy.
"It became quite easy. We aware of all that has been said about our team, but we have belief among ourselves in this format. We will go out and try to entertain." A disappointed England captain Eoin Morgan said conceded that Gayle made all the difference in the match.
"We never really took the game away from them. Credit to West Indies. In the chase, things were difficult. Gayle is a hard guy to stop. West Indies didn't allow us to get going on what was a really good batting surface," said Morgan.