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Six of Chris Gayle's best T20 knocks

Ahead of his international return against India on Sunday, we look back at some of his greatest innings in the shortest format

West Indies v South Africa, 2007 WT20


 117 off 57 balls


Chris Gayle

It only took a Gayle masterclass in the first-ever World T20 match for all of South Africa's nightmares about major tournaments to come flooding back, and another 90 minutes for them to be quickly erased (albeit temporarily). After Graeme Smith sent the West Indies into bat in the opening match of the inaugural tournament, the belligerent left-hander savaged a brilliant century to stun the packed Wanderers crowd and leave the Proteas skipper to ponder whether he'd made a terrible mistake. Gayle hit a then T20 record of 10 sixes and seven fours, bringing up his century midway through the 15th over and mercifully departing with 20 balls still remaining. But Smith had no need to worry as Herschelle Gibbs (90no from 55 balls) and Justin Kemp (46no from 22 balls) – plus an astonishing 23 wides from the West Indies – undid Gayle's work and guided the home side to an extraordinary win with 14 balls and eight wickets to spare.

Royal Challengers Bangalore v Pune Warriors, 2013 Indian Premier League

 175 off 66 balls

No.1 - Chris Gayle

Who else but Christopher Henry Gayle should hold the record for both the fastest-ever T20 century and the highest T20 score? The left-hander put on a clinic in the sixth edition of the IPL, amassing an improbable, unthinkable yet incredible 175no in a single T20 innings. The carnage started in the second over when the brutish left-hander spanked five fours off the bowling of Ishwar Pandey. Deprived of the strike by Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dlishan, Gayle took his frustration out on Australian allrounder Mitchell Marsh, who conceded four sixes and a four from his first over that cost 28 runs. At this point, Gayle had arrived at his half-century in just 17 deliveries. Three overs later the Jamaican repeated the damage, this time to another Australian in Aaron Finch, who was also smacked for 28. In the ninth over Gayle launched Ashok Dinda out of the stadium to bring up his century in just 30 balls – the fastest ever in T20 cricket. After taking a few overs to compose himself, he took 26 off the 15th over and combined with AB de Villiers for a quick-fire partnership of 44 from 15 balls. He finished the innings undefeated on 175 in a team total of 5-263. In reply, Pune were bowled out for 133, with Gayle capturing 2-5 from one over. A fair day out.


Somerset v Kent, England domestic T20 tournament 2015 


 151 off 62 balls

Gayle steals the show in England

Incredibly, this display of fireworks at the postage stamp of Taunton in England's south-west wasn't enough to get Somerset a victory in a domestic T20 clash. The power-hitter struck 10 fours and 15 sixes but the hosts still fell short three runs short of Kent's 227. Gayle made the most of the life he was given on 46 when he was dropped by Kent's Joe Denly, who summed up the situation perfectly on social media after the match when he tweeted, 'Note to self: DO NOT DROP CHRIS GAYLE ON 40!!!!!!' But his stunning hundred was in vain, as his teammates could only muster 73 runs between them, with Somerset's next best James Hildreth scoring 29 off 24 balls.


Melbourne Renegades v Adelaide Strikers, BBL|05 (2016)


 56 off 17 balls

Gayle's 12-ball Big Bash fifty

He already had the fastest T20 ton, and Gayle equalled Yuvraj Singh's record for the fastest half-century in a stunning knock that nearly singlehandedly propelled the Renegades to an improbable victory. With his side needing the target of 171 from 16 overs in order to qualify for the finals, Gayle simply exploded, hitting four successive sixes in the first over of the innings from youngster Greg West. The assault continued in the third over, Gayle taking 22 from Ben Laughlin to take himself to 44 from 10 deliveries.  It meant he needed a six to equal the world record for the fastest T20 fifty, set by Yuvraj Singh at the 2007 T20 World Cup against England, and he duly delivered, depositing Travis Head over the long-on rope. But the off-spinner claimed the key scalp of Gayle soon, ending a whirlwind 17-ball blitz.


West Indies v England, 2016 WT20 


 100* off 48 balls

England swept away by Gayle force

It was only a matter of time before the irresistible force that is Gayle got going in last year's showpiece international T20 event. On his way to scoring an unbeaten 100 and condemning England to a six-wicket group-stage defeat, he became the leading six-hitter in T20 international cricket. It seemed incredible he didn't already hold the record. At the start of his innings he was four sixes behind Brendon McCullum's record, by the end of it he was seven ahead. Gayle typically begun slowly – seven of his first nine balls were dots but a sensational display of hitting followed as he raced to triple-figures off just 47 balls, becoming the first player to score two WT20 tons. Even more impressively, he called it before the match even started!


Jamaica Tallawahs v Trinbago Knight Riders, 2016 Caribbean Premier League


108* off 54 balls

Gayle force ton blows Trinbago away

This was the 'Universe Boss' at his calculated, explosive best.  In pursuit of the Knight Riders' imposing 191, Gayle, as has become his custom, begun slowly. He took just 30 off his first 25 balls, initially tied down by the miserly Sunil Narine. But, requiring 12 an over at the halfway point of the Tallawah's innings, Gayle unleashed. He plundered 59 runs off his next 13 deliveries (4,6,6,1,6,6,4,1,6,1,6,6,6) with Trinbago bowlers Sulieman Benn, Kevon Cooper and Javon Scantlebury-Searles bearing the brunt of the Jamaican's brute force.  Gayle brought up his ton (off just 49 balls) with a six over long-off and managed another – his 11th maximum of the innings – off Dwayne Bravo to finish not out on 108 as the Tallawahs cruised home in the penultimate over. It was a classic Gayle knock, both brutal and measured in equal parts.