Chris Gayle bombarded England with sixes on his West Indies return, clearing the ropes 12 times on his way to 135 as the hosts set a winning target of 361 in the first ODI in Barbados.

The 39-year-old, ending a six-month exile from ODI cricket, repeatedly heaved the visiting attack into the leg-side to bring up a 24th century in the format.

The left-hander’s brutal hitting carried his side to 8-360 – their biggest total on home soil and best against England.

With 23 maximums in the innings it was also a world record, beating the 22 the Windies conceded to New Zealand in 2014.

Gayle reasserted his claim to be the “Universe Boss” in a pre-series press appearance but, after being dropped on nine by Jason Roy, he let actions speak louder than words.

After a ponderous start he scored his first 50 in 76 deliveries but taking just 24 over his next 50.

Along the way he overtook Shahid Afridi’s mark of 476 to make him the most prolific six-hitter in international cricket and leapfrogged Brian Lara as the top one-day run-scorer at the venue.

It fell to Ben Stokes to see off the veteran, but not until the 47th over, the England all-rounder finishing with 3-37.

Shai Hope made 64 and Adil Rashid’s leg-spin also yielded three scalps but their efforts were shunted to the margins by Gayle’s comeback ton.

Ashley Nurse hit the record-breaking 23rd six off the final ball of the innings, his third in an eight-ball cameo that yielded 25 not out.

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