Chris Gayle backed up a short-bowling barrage by his pacemen by smashing a 34-ball 50 to lead West Indies to a seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday. It was nothing short of a comfortable win for the Caribbean side as the pacers were accountable for all 10 wickets in their opening match. (Match Highlights)
Underlining its status as a dangerous outsider for the title, West Indies skittled out Pakistan for 105 in 21.4 overs — the team's second-lowest total in the history of the tournament. (Match Scorecard)
Gayle then played a starring role in the run chase, plundering three sixes and six fours in the only half-century of the match as the West Indies reached its target in 13.4 overs.
The 39-year-old opener, playing in his final World Cup, walked off gingerly after sustaining an injury during his innings in a potential concern for the Windies on just the second day of the World Cup.
Pakistan slumped to an 11th straight loss in ODIs, unable to recover from a short-ball barrage from West Indies that saw pacemen account for all 10 wickets on a pitch that historically favors batsmen and delivers big scores.
West Indies' approach of pitching the ball short and often at the body dumbfounded the Pakistanis and led to some unwise shot selection.
Oshane Thomas had 4/27, Jason Holder took 3/42, and wicketkeeper Shai Hope took four catches for the West Indies, which is looking to win its third 50-over world title and first since its glory days in the 1970s.
The style and aggressiveness of the team's bowling was certainly a nod to those famous West Indies teams of old.
Gayle took control of the reply, unleashing some fearsome shots including two straight sixes off the back foot.
In-form Hope (0) and Darren Bravo (11) went cheaply, before Nicholas Pooran guided the Windies to the victory target. He hooked a six off what proved to be the final ball, finishing on 34 not out as his team reached 108/3.