Chris Gayle has set a new record for the fastest century in the history of professional cricket with an astonishing ton off 30 balls for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, and then went on to make the highest score ever seen in Twenty20, ending unbeaten with 175 off 66 balls.
The West Indies opener battered the Pune Warriors bowling attack with a century that included seven dot balls, four singles, eight fours and 11 sixes for the home side at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. By the end of his innings he had amassed 17 sixes and 13 fours as Bangalore recorded a total of 263 for five, the highest innings total in a Twenty20 match.
Gayle has been having a hit-and-miss IPL in 2013 thus far, with low scores coupled with an 85 off 50 balls and a 92 off 58. But his assault on the Pune bowling attack on Tuesday was in a different category all together, with Gayle’s 17 sixes also a record for a T20 innings.
The 30-ball ton beats the previous 34-ball Twenty20 record set by Australia’s Andrew Symonds for Kent against Middlesex in 2004. The record in 50-over cricket is Shahid Afridi’s 37-ball century for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in 1996. The Test record belongs to Gayle’s fellow West Indian Viv Richards, who flayed England for a 56-ball 100 in Antigua in 1986.
By the end of the innings, it was hard not to feel sympathy for the bowlers. “Life is all about taking the right decision,” tweeted the India captain, MS Dhoni. “Seeing Gayle bat today I think I took the right decision of being a wicketkeeper.” Darren Sammy, Gayle’s Windies team-mate, described the opener’s innings as “a tsunami mixed with a nuclear bomb”.
Luke Wright, the England allrounder, escaped with figures of 4-0-26-1, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar was similarly frugal with figures of 4-0-23-0, but the 12 overs of the other five bowlers in the Pune team went for a combined 211.
Unsurprisingly Pune struggled in their replay and could reach only 133 for nine in their 20 overs, the 11 batsmen falling 42 runs short of Gayle’s total alone. Gayle completed a fine day’s work by taking two wickets for five runs. (UK Guardian)