Gayle force: Chris Gayle’s magical innings

There are some amazing sights in this world aren’t there? The rising of the sun, the birth of a newborn child, the final five minutes of “Grand Designs” where they show how the house has come together… but none quite the same as Christopher Henry Gayle smashing a white ball around a cricket ground.


Chris Gayle scored the fastest century in cricket history on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013. Photo: Royal Challengers Bangalore (via Flickr)

I allowed myself to laugh a bit as I tucked into a sandwich while Gayle was tucking into the Pune Warriors’ bowling. It was just ridiculous what I was bearing witness to.

Gayle swung his arms like a pendulum, time after time after time, finding boundaries on all sides. The 100 came off 30 balls at a strike rate of around 333. The next 75 runs were at a comparatively leisurely strike rate of just over 200. The numbers only get more impressive.

Gayle’s innings of 175 was the highest T20 score in the history of the game. His innings included a century’s worth of runs purely from sixes, at 17, and his largest six went 119 metres.

His innings helped Royal Challengers Bangalore to a record total of 263-5 off their 20 overs, and he is now the highest run scorer and best six-hitter of the tournament, with 432 runs and 34 sixes respectively. I imagine he’d be quite adept at beating rugs. If people still do that.

He also took figures of 2-5 in the final over of the game, which made him RCB’s top bowler as well. As if he didn’t feel his man of the match award was secure yet.

The man from Kingston, Jamaica plays the game flamboyant fashion, compared with the stuffy persona cricket can often adopt and, while some will condemn his ‘big-bash’ style of cricket, it’s not simply West Indian twenty20 cricketers who are leaving the forward defensive shot in the locker room.

Cricket isn’t the same game anymore. I saw Eoin Morgan hit what can only be described as a double reverse sweep in county cricket a few years ago. Even we, the nation of empire, Thatcher and the argyle sweater, are embracing the innovation of twenty20 cricket.

Gayle even has previous in Test matches. Only recently he became the first player to hit a six off the first ball of a test match, which is like putting your trousers on before your pants.

As Gayle walked off the pitch, a presenter pulled him to one side and interviewed him, asking him what he had for breakfast. He replied: “A pancake and two omelettes.”

I don’t know if anybody will ever emulate Chris Gayle. He’s one of those whose talent seems aided by his personality, but I know what my next question is. Anybody got any eggs?

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