If Chris Gayle leads, West Indies tend to follow. All teams can be inspired by the performance of their captain, yet rarely has the impact been so clear as with Gayle's role within his side. As with Mahela Jayawardene he came within a brace of becoming the first batsman to make two Twenty20 international hundreds, but of far greater significance is that the hosts remain very much alive in this tournament.

This innings was Gayle at his destructive best, but it was also Gayle at his most mature and composed as he batted for all bar two balls of the innings when his bat bounced up when he tried to make his ground. He scored at better than a run-a-ball in the first six, but only just as he assessed conditions were tougher after overnight rain. At the start of the eighth over he was on 26 - Gayle has often had that many to his name before anyone can blink.

He picked his moments and targeted certain bowlers. Harbhajan Singh was allowed to escape with four overs for 16 (much as Johan Botha had been treated with respect by England) and teams are often allowing the opposition's main threat to be played out. Batsmen are confident of being able to make the ground up elsewhere. This time it was Ravindra Jadeja - who has had a tournament to forget - and Suresh Raina who were picked off for 50 in four overs. India again packed their batting, but they were desperate for another bowler.

This effort can rank alongside the 117 Gayle made against South Africa in the opening match of the inaugural tournament and the stunning 88 off 50 balls against Australia last year as his finest Twenty20 innings.