I had the privilege recently of seeing history being made in front of my eyes. In an Indian Premier League ( IPL) cricket match, playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the 33-year-old Jamaican, Christopher Henry Gayle scored a century in just 30 balls. This was only one of the many records that he broke that evening.
The hapless opponents, the Pune Warriors India did not know what hit them as Gayle helped his franchise team to score the highest ever in a 20 over cricket match, 263/5 beating the earlier record of 260 by Sri Lanka vs. Kenya in 2007.
Gayle remained not out at the end of the RCB innings with a mind-boggling individual score of 175 (which, by the way, is more than many teams often make in their allotted 20 overs) make made in just 66 balls. His innings had 13 fours and as many as 17 sixes, which is another record for the most number of sixes ever in an innings. Gayle and Dilshan scored 167 for the opening wicket which was a record for RCB.
What amazes me about Gayle is the enormous power he generates in his shots. He is not known to be keen on running singles. He does this infrequently relying on his ability to score boundaries and sixers later in the innings. Unlike most others, he is typically a slow starter and unlike in this match I just spoke about, he usually takes his time to settle down and read the pitch, the opposing bowlers etc which is something most batsmen don’t do. They plan to go out there and try to hit boundaries and sixes from the word go. Gayle is very different from the others and holds back till he is ready to let fly!
RCB has been lucky to get Gayle because he was originally signed on by Kolkata Knight Riders in the initial seasons but somehow or the other he didn’t click there, thankfully for RCB.
They say the IPL is all about entertainment. You get that in plenty if you happen to see Gayle in full flown. His 175 not out was a one of a kind innings. Most of us have never seen such a destructive innings before. Perhaps we never will again.