Windies powered by Gayle
West Indies and Sri Lanka qualified for the ICC Champions Trophy after the Caribbean side completed a comfortable 10-wicket victory over Bangladesh in Jaipur.
Chris Gayle hit an unbeaten century for West Indies, who overhauled a target of 162 with 13.2 overs to spare.
The Asian minnows needed to win to keep their slim hopes alive but, after being bowled out for 161, they were never in with a realistic chance.
Whichever of West Indies and Sri Lanka win Saturday’s final qualifying match will go into the group containing New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa, with the losers facing Australia, England and India.
Gayle hardly broke sweat in hitting 104 not out off 118 balls, his 13th one-day international century.
The left-hander timed almost everything to perfection and did not try anything too spectacular until, two balls after reaching his fifty off 78 deliveries, he launched Mohamed Rafique over mid-wicket for six.
Gayle’s third six, off Aftab Ahmed, took him to 93 and left the ball on the tarpaulin roof of the stand - but there was still no respite for sorry Bangladesh.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul was content to play the supporting role, registering his 40th one-day half-century, off 97 balls, in making an unbeaten 52.
Two wickets in as many balls from Corey Collymore proved the turning point in Bangladesh’s innings.
From a position of strength at 95 for one in the 20th over, they lost five wickets for 16 runs and were bowled out with 3.4 overs remaining.
Collymore dismissed Saqibul Hasan and Habibul Bashar just as Bangladesh were looking to consolidate after a second-wicket partnership of 85 between Aftab (59) and Shahriar Nafees (38) had been broken.
Having lost Mohammad Ashraful - lbw to Jerome Taylor - early on, Aftab capitalised on being dropped on 15 by Marlon Samuels to take the attack to West Indies.
He was ably supported by Nafees, who eventually edged off-spinner Samuels to Gayle at slip.
It was the first wicket in a collapse which also accounted for Aftab, whose 55-ball innings, including two sixes and seven fours, ended when he failed to lift Samuels over Chanderpaul at long-on.
Khaled Mashud finished unbeaten on 22 but Dwayne Bravo’s 3-14 off 10 overs helped polish off the tail.
Gayle paid tribute to the influence of his opening partner in helping him to three figures.
“I think Chanderpaul’s experience at the top of the order really helped me,” he said.
“We had to keep our composure at times and in the big games it is not going to be as easy.
“I’m still working on my game and nothing comes easy. We have a tough game against Sri Lanka on Saturday.”
West Indies captain Brian Lara again would have preferred to have seen some more of his batsmen given a chance - they lost only one wicket in the victory over Zimbabwe - but he was more than happy with the performance.
“We would have liked to have won the toss and had a few more guys batting, but we lost (the toss) and were in the field. But it was a comprehensive victory,” he said.
“Bravo bowled really well and so the bowlers are shaping up well.
“Chris is definitely the number one opener in our team. Shivnarine has done it before and he has come here willing to do it and has put up a very good showing so far.”