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.
When Gayle was passed fit for this third ODI after recovering from a hamstring strain, the sell-out Bristol crowd were anticipating batting fireworks from the West Indies" self-styled "Universe Boss'.
From then on the Windies' chase fell away, with fast bowler Liam Plunkett taking five for 52 - his maiden five-wicket ODI haul - as England won with 65 balls to spare.
Moeen was, though, aided by Gayle during that breathtaking passage of play, the West Indian dropping a simple chance at backward point when the Englishman was on 87.
Ali went to his century with two sixes in three balls off Miguel Cummins - a pull over deep square leg followed by a soaring drive over long-on. "I just tried to slog it as much as I could". "I felt me and Woakesy had got to a situation where we had got ourselves in and it was time to press the button and play a few shots and the ground is a good size for someone like myself - it's not a massive hit for six", Moeen said.More news: China says N.Korean quake 'suspected explosion', S.Korea says likely natural
However, the rapidity from which Moeen moved through the gears makes this innings one of the most remarkable in England's one-day history.
Hales went lbw on DRS when Cummins slanted one into him in his first over, however, and Eoin Morgan's wretched run continued when Holder found movement off the pitch too to have him caught-behind first ball.
Meanwhile West Indies captain Jason Holder was left to lament his side s inability to build on a promising start, their cause not aided by some sloppy fielding as they suffered a 14th defeat in 15 completed ODIs against England.
"We've still got some selectorial conversations to have, to understand if we have the best players to take this team forward".
Opener Chris Gayle led the response, at one stage hitting Ali for three consecutive sixes, but he never quite had sufficient support and was run out for 94 going for a quick single. His innings of 102 in 57 balls consisted of 7 boundaries and 8 sixes with the last eight balls resulting in 42 Runs.