Questionable nature of Gayle dismissal peeves Bravo
West Indies vice-captain Dwayne Bravo admitted Chris Gayle's dismissal was the turning point in Tuesday's eight-wicket defeat at the hands of England in the second ODI at The Oval.
Gayle's resounding return to international competition was stopped dead in its tracks by a questionable lbw decision before Bravo's first ODI half-century in over two years carried the West Indies to a promising - but ultimately fruitless - total of 238 for nine.
The home side's response was prompt and clinical, with a century from captain Alastair Cook and a half-ton from fellow opener Ian Bell ensuring triumph with all of five overs to spare.
Robbed of participation in the series opener by a shin injury, Gayle resumed his supremacy at the top of the knock thanks to a five-six, 51-delivery, 53-run cameo.
Picking up exactly where he left off in the Indian Premier League, the Royal Challengers Bangalore sign-off celebrated an agreement with the WICB that has him back in the fold after 15 months on the sidelines in fine style.
Relatively reserved at the start of his vigil, the hard-hitting left-hander enjoyed a string of sighters before tucking into what all had come to see. A 20,000-plus crowd were treated to an enormous bombardment, only for an iffy choice from the third umpire to upend the action.
Tim Bresnan, carted to all corners by Gayle's severe lack of mercy, was a relieved man when Graeme Swann trapped the batsman lbw. Gayle, rightly so, reviewed the on-field decision, which ultimately stood. Third umpire Kumar Dharmasena didn't find enough doubt as to whether or not ball met bat before pad, and colleague Tony Hill's original decision was arguably vindicated.
Visibly aggrieved with the conclusion, Gayle took a long time to vacate the crease and was fortunate not to be fined a percentage of his fixture fee by match referee Jeff Crowe.
"What confused us is they used the technology, and then the decision was given," lamented Bravo.
"It's okay, umpires do make mistakes - that's accepted - but not when they see it after a referral and realise they've made the wrong decision and then stand by it. It was a game-changing moment, and it was always difficult then to get a big total.
"Obviously, the decision did not help us. Chris got off to a very good start, then unfortunately the way he got out put us on the back foot. If the decision had gone a different way, it might have been a different ball game."
Defeat in Saturday's series opener in Southampton and Tuesday's clash in London has left the visitors with an insurmountable two-nil series deficit in the three-match affair, with the third and final game set to take place at Headingley in Leeds on Friday. A one-off T20I will follow at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Sunday.