Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul came up with scintillating knocks as the West Indies beat England by five wickets via the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-affected match and entered the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 on Monday.
Chasing 80 for victory off nine overs at the Oval, after rain twice interrupted play, the West Indies looked down and out after losing three wickets inside the first three overs, but the experienced duo of Sarwan (19 not out off 9 balls) and Chanderpaul (17 not out off 10) added 37 runs in 18 balls to steal a place in the last-four stage along with South Africa and Pakistan, who had in an earlier match beaten Ireland by 39 runs runs.
Ravi Bopara's 47-ball 55 had earlier lifted England to 161 for six after captain Paul Collingwood won the toss and opted to bat.
However, two rain interruptions -- once during England's innings, with the score 129 for four and then during the innings break -- brought the Duckworth-Lewis method into play.
Chasing 80 to make the grade, the West Indies had a disastrous start as Andre Fletcher fell without scoring in the first over. Gayle's stumps were then uprooted by Ryan Sidebottom and Lendl Simmons followed immediately as the West Indies were reduced to 16 for three in the third over.
Dwayne Bravo (18) and Kieron Pollard (6) put on 25 runs for the fourth wicket but the former was stumped with 35 needed from 23 balls.
But Sarwan eased the pressure, hitting three fours, and along with Chanderpaul found the gaps with relative ease to send England packing from the tournament.
Earlier, India-born Bopara's innings had class written all over in his knock of 50 off 43 balls, inclusive of five boundaries.
He also starred in two crucial partnerships, 56 with Kevin Pietersen and another 34 with Owais Shah, to help England put up a competitive total before rain played spoilsport.
England lost Luke Wright (6) early but Pietersen (31) and Bopara scored at a fast clip. Pietersen seemed in good nick, showing no signs of the Achilles injury that has been plaguing him off late.
He was well-complemented by Bopara. The duo brought up their 50 stand off 34 balls, but Pietersen fell soon after going for a needless shot.
He went for a big heave off Simmons but found Fletcher at the mid-on boundary. His 19-ball stay at the crease included five boundaries.
Shah (18) joined Bopara and the duo scored briskly before Fletcher plucked the former at the mid-on boundary off Dwayne Bravo.
Gayle then dealt a body blow to England when he trapped Bopara in front of the wicket, ending his 47-ball innings.
Collingwood was joined by James Foster when rain intervened, with England 129 for four.
However, with the rain easing off soon, the players were back on the pitch after a 30-minute break without any deduction in overs.
England, though, suffered a jolt almost immediately as Bravo trapped Collingwood (11) in front of the stumps.
The West Indies slow bowlers did an excellent job as England struggled to get a boundary towards the end before pacer Stuart Broad (10 not out) hit a four and a six off the last two deliveries to push the score past the 160-run mark.