Chris Gayle tore the England bowling unit apart to remain unbeaten on 100 off 48 deliveries as West Indies thrashed England by 48 runs in their opening encounter of the ICC World T20 2016 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.
England put up a strong total of 182 for six after being put to bat by the West Indians, with No 3 batsman Joe Root top-scoring for them with a well-constructed 48 off 36. Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo took two wickets each for 36 and 41 runs, respectively.
West Indies, in reply, were facing a perilous situation when they lost their first wicket with just two runs on board, with Johnson Charles departing for a duck. Gayle, who initially did not get much strike, played a composed knock while letting Marlon Samuels do the damage, before shifting to the fifth gear to take the game away from the Englishmen. He was awarded the Man of the Match for his second century in a World T20 match.
Given the immense popularity that Gayle enjoys worldwide, it was only natural for the experts and fans to take to the social media to express their thoughts, which are listed below in the form of a list of the best posts on Twitter, starting with those from the cricketers and the pundits:
Gayle's "hitting predictability" is like "Yorker predictability"of Pak bowlers of the 90's.U know it's coming yet you are not ready for it..
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) March 17, 2016
Just back from man with a roof ...saw Eng bat ...but looks like they ran into a Gayle storm ....
— David 'Bumble' Lloyd (@BumbleCricket) March 16, 2016
The only problem with a top Gayle innings is the headlines that follow. Come on subs, show us more. #NoGayleForcePlease
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 16, 2016
— ICC (@ICC) March 16, 2016
Chris Gayle's bat is on meldonium.
— Alt Cricket (@AltCricket) March 16, 2016
Chris Gayle is blinging it up #WT20
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) March 16, 2016
After watching him tonite, don't think any bowler wants to bowl to Gayle in this tournament
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 16, 2016
Gayle: Sulieman Benn told me before I went out, 'Chris, entertain me'
— Simon Wilde (@swildecricket) March 16, 2016
And then there were the tongue-in-cheek comments from the Twitterati:
Chris Gayle is Vijay Mallya's most valuable asset. State Bank of India must seize him immediately. #WIvsENG
— $ir $ri $ri Magal (@jhunjhunwala) March 16, 2016
Gayle practicing hard in the nets before a big match pic.twitter.com/72ZtP70l8U
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) March 16, 2016
— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) March 16, 2016
Gayle always gets the home crowd support in India, unless he is playing against India.
— Sagarcasm (@sagarcasm) March 16, 2016
Gayle, who is perhaps playing is last World T20, seems determined to make this tournament a memorable one for himself as well as for the West Indians.