West Indian giant Chris Gayle sounded a stern World Cup warning by becoming the first man to hit 500 sixes in international matches during the 4th ODI against visitors England at the National Stadium in Grenada yesterday.
The 'Universe Boss' hit a total of 14 maximums in his innings of 162, almost helping his team chase a mammoth target of 419. By the time he was dismissed, he had hit a total of 506 international sixes with Pakistan's Shahid Afridi (476) lying a distant second. The left-hander also became only the second man from West Indies, after Brian Lara to complete 10,000 runs in ODIs.
With the World Cup in sight, Shai Hope promises to fight fire with fire in ODI series against England
1st ODI: Jason Roy and Joe Root send out World Cup warning as England chase a record 360 against West Indies
Chris Gayle boost helps West Indies to break the world record for number of sixes in an innings against England
2nd ODI: West Indies ride Hetmyer's century and Cottrell's five-for to level series 1-1 against England
Gayle is one of a handful of players who would not shirk from chasing 419 and the 39-year-old Jamaican picked up Buttler's baton with a ton of his own.
He teed off immediately, clattering Chris Woakes for five sixes in nine balls.
Stokes then gave up two fours and two sixes from his first four balls. Things did not get any better in a ragged four-over spell that contained full tosses, wides and even an accidental beamer.
But Gayle ticked off a shopping list of targets — 50 up in 32 balls, a 10,000th one-day run and then his hundred in 55 balls — but was fatigued by the time Stokes took his stumps on 162.
The final equation left the West Indies seeking 95 from the last 10 overs, with Brathwaite and Nurse surpassing low expectations in a boundary-strewn cameo that threatened to add one final twist to a day full of entertainment.
They were on the cusp of something special when Rashid kept his composure, tempting both into mis-hits that were held by Morgan and Liam Plunkett. He polished off Devendra Bishoo and Oshane Thomas in a hurry, providing a swift end to a superb battle.
(With AP inputs)