Port of Spain: Kevin Pietersen struck an 88-ball century on the final day of the fifth and final Test against West Indies on Tuesday as England sought an unlikely victory to tie the series.
At midnight, the West Indies were 76 for three, chasing a target of 240 set by England.
At lunch England were 237 for six, an overall lead of 239, with Pietersen out for 102. England declared at the same score leaving West Indies to get 240 runs in two sessions.
England, who resumed their second innings on 80 for three, tried to score as quickly as possible in order to declare and have a chance of bowling out West Indies, who lead the series 1-0.
Pietersens intention was clear from the first ball he faced which he swiped to square leg for four but England were also helped by a deep West Indies field which allowed for easy run scoring.
West Indies engaged in some blatant time-wasting tactics and bowled just 12 overs in the first hour despite having a spinner in operation throughout.
It did little to stop England cruising along at a rate of over six an over, though, with Matt Prior and Pietersen bringing up their 50 partnership.
With Gayle using occasional medium-pacers Brendan Nash and Lendl Simmons in an effort to take the pace off the ball, the England pair combined attacking strokes with easy pickings as they reached the 100 partnership.
Prior finally went, bowled by Lionel Baker, after making 61 off 49 balls and then, with two balls remaining before lunch, Pietersen holed out to substitute fielder Dwayne Bravo off Fidel Edwards.
Having done the job with the bat, England will now look to declare and put maximum pressure on West Indies who need to survive the day to earn their first series win over England since 1998.