Man-of-the-Series Chris Gayle plundered the fastest One-Day International (ODI) fifty by a West Indian after Man-of-the-Match, Jamaican speedster Oshane Thomas, had demolished England for a record low 113 runs, as West Indies pulled off an emphatic seven-wicket victory in the final ODI in St. Lucia last Saturday to level the five-match series 2-2.
Choosing to bowl first on a lively pitch at the Darren Sammy National Stadium, West Indies bundled the world number one side out for a paltry 113 in the 29th over – their lowest ever ODI total against West Indies – with the 22-year-old Thomas snatching a career-best five for 21 from just 31 balls.
Veteran Gayle then erased any doubt over the result by storming to a 19-ball half-century, en route to an amazing 77 from just 27 deliveries, as the hosts eased to their target in the 13th over.
The 39-year-old, in his farewell Caribbean tour, clobbered five fours and nine giant sixes in what was his fourth score over 50 in the series. He finished with 424 runs at average of 106.
“It was a fantastic series to be able to tie the series two-all. I thought both teams played well,” Gayle said afterwards. “Today our bowlers were fantastic, so you have to give credit to them.”
Inspirational captain Jason Holder, who oversaw West Indies’ recapture of the Wisden Trophy in the preceding Test series, said the way his side had held their nerve throughout had been satisfying.
“That was the perfect performance. All of the bowlers put in an outstanding effort. Oshane is an impact player for us and it’s good to see him make this breakthrough,” Holder said.
“He was quick, aggressive and consistent, and he caused trouble. It’s been a total team effort with the ball and then Chris stole the show at the end. Chris is a champion. It’s great to see him bow out in the Caribbean like this.”