Bristol - Moeen Ali said his six-laden one-day international
century against West Indies at Bristol was simply a matter of deciding to
"press the button and play a few shots".
Ali struck England's second-fastest ODI hundred off just 53
balls, with his second fifty coming in a world record 12 deliveries.
His 102 was the cornerstone of a total of 369 for nine -
England's highest in ODIs against West Indies.
Despite an impressive 94 from the returning Chris Gayle, it
proved too much for the visitors to chase with England winning by the
commanding margin of 124 runs on Sunday to go 2-0 up with two to play in this
Once Gayle was run out by Adil Rashid, West Indies' innings
fell away with England fast bowler Liam Plunkett taking five for 52 - his
maiden ODI five-for - as the tourists were dismissed for 245 with a whopping 65
balls, or more than 10 overs, to spare.
Ali hit eight sixes and Gayle six in a match featuring 28 in
total, with both left-handed batsmen taking advantage of the short straight
boundaries at southwest county Gloucestershire's headquarters.
"I just had a slog really, and everything just seemed
to come off," all-rounder Ali, known for being an elegant stroke-player,
"I thought we'd got ourselves in, and it was time to
press the button and play a few shots -- it's not a massive hit for six
West Indies, who've now lost 14 of their last 15 completed
ODIs against England, actually started impressively with the ball to restrict
the home side to just 18 runs off the first five overs.
"We just didn't finish off well," said a rueful
West Indies captain Jason Holder, who won the toss and fielded.
"They (England) bat deep. He (Ali) has played a special
innings. I think we didn't execute our plans towards him.
"It's a small ground and he backed himself to clear
One consolation for West Indies was the innings of Gayle,
long one of the world's leading limited-overs batsmen.
He had marked his 38th birthday on Thursday by injuring his
hamstring just before the toss while warming up and so missing a rain swept
no-result in the second ODI at Trent Bridge.
But the Jamaica opener was near his blistering best in
"It was very special," said Holder of the
veteran's 78-ball innings, which also featured nine fours.
"Not only did he get the start we wanted, he carried on
and batted into the innings.
"That was important, the longer he stays out there, the
more England fear (losing)."
Meanwhile Holder insisted there was a far more thoughtful
side to Gayle than might be apparent from a player who revels in a 'cool' image
with the self-created nickname of the 'Universe Boss'.
"Chris is always a relaxed guy but, if you go to him,
you'd be surprised by the amount of information you get from him," said
"I've been privy to having a few chats with him in the
last couple of days and it's been wonderful."
This series has seen Gayle return to ODIs after a two-year
dispute with Caribbean cricket chiefs and Barbados all-rounder Holder added:
"He's shared a lot of information and helped me out a lot on the field.
"It's really good to have a guy like him playing for
you. Hopefully his body will allow to him carry on a lot longer."
Holder was adamant that West Indies, the World Twenty20
champions, were "not too far off" becoming a competitive side in the
"We just need to knuckle down a little more, especially
when we bat," he explained ahead of Wednesday's fourth ODI at The Oval in
"'Death' bowling has obviously been a cause for concern
in the recent past and we really need to tighten up there as well."