"F***ing beast."

There were plenty of high-decibel gasps of wonderment at Chris Gayle's innings among those watching inside the Wankhede Stadium but this one stood out. Not nearly as much for its contents as the manner in which it was said. Admiration, yes, disbelief, no, for this has become way too common. But "brutal", "magnificent" or "chanceless" - as England captain Eoin Morgan put it later - are way too simplistic an appraisal of a Gayle special.

There is a mind-numbing infallibility about such innings which is amplified by how often Gayle plays them, in the IPL, BBL, CPL, and, hell yeah, international T20s. Amplifying them further are those helpful geeks triggering an avalanche of cold, intimidating statistics on the internet. Should a bowling team, upon confronting Gayle in such a mood, feel like being in a real life set of Final Destination, one should sympathise with them. Lend them a shoulder to cry on.

Dehumanised by numbers, demonised by bowlers, Gayle could pass off for a robotic dark overlord of destruction, ruthlessly carving out innings after innings. Except he is anything but that. This is after all the man who was lolling around and playing pranks on the eve of the game.

Gayle, in fact, was curious to know what the turnout would be. Maybe he knew what he was going to unleash and wanted as many as possible to witness it firsthand. All he would let on later was he tried to "entertain" Sulieman Benn. You could add a few million more people to that list.

But, at the end of five overs in West Indies' chase of 183, he had faced only six balls. It was Marlon Samuels who was leading the offensive with a clear-the-front-leg-and-whack approach. Gayle didn't mind staying in the background though, like a highly accomplished actor secure about his impact despite less screen time.

By the end of the seventh over, when Samuels got out, he had still faced only 13 deliveries but the time bomb had begun ticking louder. Moeen Ali dragged his first ball short to start the eighth over and Gayle produced a creaking pull to collect four runs. However, it was legspinner Adil Rashid that he decided to target in the ninth.

Rashid had begun well to have Samuels hole out at long-on, but Gayle was another matter altogether. Lift, swing and plunder. Gayle ensured he got under the first ball he received from Rashid and sent it to the roof top over long on. Rinse, repeat. This time the ball was struck in the same direction but a few feet below the roof.

Gayle's next victim was Ben Stokes, who was sending down short-pitched stuff when he wasn't bowling wides. Gayle bade his time, let quite a few whizz past his nose before launching pull shots off successive balls for six. Then there was the caning of David Willey to be completed in the 16th, and England's fielders on the line were reduced to flinging, flailing acrobats.

The pièce de résistance, though, was Gayle's takedown of Moeen after West Indies had begun the 14th over needing 59 to win. Moeen had figures of 3-0-20-1 to show for, and hadn't conceded any more runs three balls into the over. Gayle, however, skipped out of the crease for three consecutive sixes. Ho, hum. At the end of the over, two of Moeen's team-mates hurriedly rushed to him to console him.

This was how Gayle rolled, rationing his fire initially before swiftly dialing up the heat to reduce the opponents to a smouldering wreck. It's hard not to wonder what sort of prep work goes with the richness of Gayle's natural ability. Is there a secret bunker where he chalks up strategies? West Indies coach Phil Simmons didn't think so.

"I think it is as simple as you see it," Simmons said after the match. "This is the first time I am riding with the T20 team since I have been back and sitting and talking to him and trying to see how he works this out, I mean it is as simple as he makes it look out there."

Simmons said it was a case of uncomplicated thinking backed up by hard work. "He actually analyses it as simple as he does it," he said. "He practises hard, he hits a lot of balls in the nets but he works it out just as he did today. 'Rashid is my bowler for the day and I have to take him down.' So it's as simple as that."

Gayle probably should be defined as much by what he doesn't do as what he does. His celebration upon reaching his second T20I hundred was devoid of exaggeration and yet reminiscent of his scoring pattern: he strolled slowly, lifted his arms and suddenly slumped to his knees.

But once the win was sewed up, funny man Gayle was in business again. Benn joined Gayle for a video tribute on Instagram where the "World Boss", check that: "Universe Boss", was asked to say "Oops". Benn then completed it for good measure: "He did it again."

Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo