«We were put under great pressure and I thought the guys did well to stand up to it.»
A late salvo from Carlos Brathwaite and Ashley Nurse left the hosts needing 32 from 18 balls to make the second largest chase in ODI history but Adil Rashid (5-85) wiped out the last four wickets in the 48th over to bowl them out for 389.
Despite the leg-spinner’s late intervention, Gayle and Buttler were the day’s headline acts, hitting 26 sixes and 24 boundaries between them in a furious display of power-hitting.
England ultimately had the stronger supporting cast, as Eoin Morgan made a 103 of his own during a 204-run stand with Buttler.
England’s innings was the highest ever on Caribbean soil and sits third on their all-time list, thanks in part to 154 runs from the final 10 overs.
Buttler and Morgan came together at 3-165, with Joe Root having fallen cheaply, and heaped on another 204 runs together in less than 21 overs.
Gayle is one of a handful of players who would not shirk from chasing 419 and the 39-year-old Jamaican picked up Buttler’s baton with a ton of his own.
He teed off immediately, clattering Chris Woakes for five sixes in nine balls.
Gayle ticked off a shopping list of targets — 50 up in 32 balls, a 10,000th one- day run and then his hundred in 55 balls — but was fatigued by the time Ben Stokes took his stumps on 162.
The West Indies seeking 95 from the last 10 overs and they were on the cusp of something special when Rashid kept his composure by removing the dangerous Braithewaite (50) and Nurse (43) before wrapping up the tail.