Cook proud of his players
Bravo feels dismissal of Gayle was a 'game-changing moment'
Last Updated: June 19, 2012 8:20pm
Alastair Cook: admitted cricket has been put 'into perspective' by Tom Maynard's death
England captain Alastair Cook praised his players for coming through a "tough 36 hours" after clinching the one-day series against the West Indies.
Cook himself hit 112 - his fourth ODI ton since taking over as skipper - as the hosts comfortably chased down a target of 239 to triumph in a game that was overshadowed by the death of Tom Maynard on Monday.
"It's been a very, very sad 36 hours. We responded in the right way. We played some really good cricket again today."
Alastair Cook Quotes of the week
A minute's silence was held in memory of the Surrey and England Lions batsman at his home ground of the Oval before play got underway.
"It's been a tough 36 hours for us as a team," Cook admitted.
"It was incredibly sad news, and I think quite a few boys were very emotional - especially during the minute's silence this morning.
"It has been difficult. Something like this hits you hard.
"A lot of us have played with Tom, and pretty much all of us have played against him.
"He's a great lad and he will be missed. When something like this happens it puts cricket into perspective."
He added: "It's been a very, very sad 36 hours. We responded in the right way. We played some really good cricket again today."
Cook's century was the sixth by an England opener in the last six one-dayers, with the skipper scoring three of them.
"We've talked about it a lot and the lads at the top of the order are delivering," the Essex left-hander said.
"It was nice for me to score some runs. I haven't been hitting the ball as well as I'd like this summer, so to get a hundred in a match-winning performance is very pleasing."
The West Indies are now left to play for pride in the third and final match of the series on Friday, though things might have been different had Chris Gayle not been given out lbw to a marginal decision.
The returning opener blasted five sixes as he eased to 53, only to then be given out by on-field umpire Tony Hill when he was struck by a full delivery by off-spinner Graeme Swann.
Gayle himself thought it had bat before pad, but not even the use of the DRS could save him. He became the first of four wickets to go down in the space of 16 runs, meaning the tourists were always struggling to set a big total.
"What confused us is they used the technology ... and then the decision was given," said Dwayne Bravo, who did his best to revive the innings with 77.
"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."
Bravo put on a 100-run partnership to give the West Indies a platform to launch a late onslaught, however they lost their way in the closing stages and finished up on a below-par 238-9.
Once Gayle was gone, the momentum swung emphatically towards England.
"Obviously, the decision did not help us," added Bravo.
"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.
"We lost our way in the middle there. Pollard and I fought our way back, but we were not in a position to have the firepower to finish off the innings."