Moeen Ali played down his record-breaking 53-ball hundred as a "bit of a slog", but said that the confidence he has gleaned in the course of a phenomenal summer in worldwide cricket allowed him to trust his instincts and put West Indies' bowlers to the sword in a run-laden third ODI at Bristol.
All-rounder Moeen smashed 102 off only 57 deliveries, the second-fastest hundred by an England player, after Joe Root (84) and Ben Stokes (73) laid the foundations. "I just had a slog really, everything seemed to come off, I tried to watch the ball, keep my shape and really go for it". This was Moeen's latest inspirational performance of a sensational summer that has already seen him seal a Test win at Lord's with a hat-trick and, against the same opponents in South Africa, become only the second Englishman in history behind Ian Botham to take at least 25 wickets and score more than 250 runs in a single Test series.
Jos Buttler holds the record for the fastest ODI hundred for England.
Ali reached 100 off 53 balls - powered by eight sixes and seven fours - and took England from 210-5 when he arrived to an imposing total at the County Ground in Bristol. "You try and hold your shape as long as you can and when it's there you have a good go and just keep going".
England lost three wickets for 11 runs to be 217 for six in the 35th over. But then Moeen, dropped by Gayle at point on 87, switched gear dramatically as England piled up 123 runs in the last 10 overs.
He eventually holed out off spinner Ashley Nurse and received a standing ovation from a near-capacity crowd.
"They bat deep. [Moeen] has played a special innings today".
The Jamaican-born powerhouse, who played his first ODI for the Windies in over two years in the series-opener in Manchester, was set to play his 271st ODI before being pulled twenty minutes before the scheduled start due to a hamstring complaint.
That left West Indies 176 for four in the 27th over and there was no way back for them from there.