Since the advent of T20 cricket the game has been revolutionized by big-hitting exploits to the point where bowlers must wonder why they bother to turn up. But even so, scoring at more than three runs per ball is astonishing in any estimation. The fastest recorded hundred in terms of balls faced had been 34, by David Hookes in a first-class match for South Australia in 1982, and by another big Aussie, Andrew Symonds, for Kent at the tiny Maidstone ground in a T20 bash in 2004.
But all that was about to change on 23rd April 2013 when Chris Gayle took to field playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune India Warriors in what seemed like a tailor-made pitch at Bangalore.
Usually in a T20 match, you associate the score of 175 as the total that the team managed to make in their allotted 20 overs. But Chris Gayle scored that score individually against a respectable bowling attack. But when Chris Gayle decides that he’s about to party, there’s not much any bowler can do about it and the Pune Warriors’ bowlers learnt that the hard way.
With 11 sixes and eight fours, Chris Gayle took just 30 balls to break the record for the fastest century in cricket history. And he had no intentions of stopping even after that as he went on to finish the innings smashing 17 sixes and 13 fours in a 66-ball knock, beating Brendan McCullum of New Zealand’s 158 not out as the highest total in a T20 match.
On being asked what he had for breakfast to play such an incredible innings, Gayle just laughed it off with “All I had for breakfast this morning was a plain omelette, two pancakes and a hot chocolate.”
Gayle also took two wickets late in the Pune innings as they scored 133-9 in reply, with Royal Challengers winning by 130 runs.
Ball-by-ball – How Gayle reached his ton…