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Gayle puts England to the sword in ODI

CAPTAIN Chris Gayle led West Indies to a crushing eight-wicket victory as the hosts matched England's feeble total of 117 in fewer than 15 overs in the rain-hit third one-day international in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Friday.

Gayle smashed eight sixes and five fours as he scored 80 in 43 balls to put his team 2-1 up in the five-match series.

Rain initially reduced the game to 44 overs per side before the West Indies target was later adjusted to 117 under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

"It was a good wicket to bat on, extremely good," Gayle told Sky Sports. "We all did well in bowling, batting, fielding and played a good game of cricket. Our team spirit is very high and I want to commend the guys on that."

After being put in to bat England threw its wickets away with a succession of loose pull and hook shots as it slumped to 68 for eight.

After the top order failed to make an impression former captain Kevin Pietersen, who complained of homesickness in an interview on Thursday, swiped Dwayne Bravo's first ball straight to mid-wicket and was out for three.

Andrew Flintoff, back in action after a month out through injury, went for a duck when he hooked a simple catch to Fidel Edwards off Bravo.

Caught behind

The wickets continued to tumble and when Stuart Broad was caught behind for a duck England was 68-8, 18 short of its lowest one-day score of 86 against Australia at Old Trafford, Manchester, in 2001.

However, Dimitri Mascarenhas and Gareth Batty steadied the ship as they took the tourists past their previous worst score against the West Indies, 114 on the same ground 23 years ago.

Both then fell in quick succession, Mascarenhas top-scoring with 36, as England was bowled out in the 42nd over with all-rounder Bravo taking four for 19 and paceman Edwards three for 28.

Proof that bad batting rather than a bad pitch was behind England's paltry total was not long in coming as Gayle set about his task with gusto.

The left-hander took 24 off one Mascarenhas over, with three sixes, as the hosts reached 84-0 in eight overs.

Gayle was eventually bowled by James Anderson and Ramnaresh Sarwan fell to Broad for 10, leaving Lendl Simmons and Shivnarine Chanderpaul to steer West Indies to 117-2 in 14.4 overs.


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