Raining sixes as Gayle storm hits Mirpur
T20 master blaster blazes his 800th six amid a furious unbeaten 126 in Bangladesh Premier League
9 December 2017, 08:58 AM AEST
West Indian T20 master Chris Gayle produced another extraordinary display of hitting in the Bangladesh Premier League overnight, breaking a host of records on his way to an unbeaten 126 from 51 deliveries.
In the tournament's elimination final, Gayle almost singlehandedly guided Rangpur through to the decider, scoring more than 73 per cent of his team's runs as they chased down Khulna's 6-167 with 28 balls to spare.
Was that from @henrygayle for real tonight! The greatest at work! Well played brother. Roll on— Brendon McCullum (@Bazmccullum) December 8, 2017
Among Gayle's 14 sixes was a world record 800th in T20 cricket, by far the most in the short history of the shortest format (Kieron Pollard is next with 506), while it was the 14th time the Jamaican has hit 10-plus sixes in a T20 innings, a feat no-one else has managed more than twice.
It was also Gayle's 19th century in T20 cricket, a figure which again put in context just how far the 38-year-old is ahead of his rivals in the format – Big Bash trio Brendon McCullum, Luke Wright and Michael Klinger are next on the 'most hundreds' list, with seven apiece.
Gayle had hit two fifties in the tournament prior to this explosion but had been relatively quiet by his lofty standards, though his skipper, Mashrafe Mortaza, said one could never tell when the veteran opener was going to produce one of 'those' innings.
"There's no difference (in his mentality)," Mashrafe was quoted as saying on ESPN. "He likes to stay relaxed and sleep in his room. I think this is what gives him the advantage to stay relaxed in the field. "I have seen him in the earlier edition of the BPL too, but I hardly saw any change in his mentality. He is always calm before batting, pads up slowly and goes to the field.
"I was sure that it would have been difficult for us if Gayle got out early. I think we were lucky that he stepped up today."
Khulna captain Mahmudullah summed it up simply.
"I think it is called the Gayle storm," he said. "To be honest, he batted outstandingly. We didn't bowl well up front, because we know about his power and capability."