The fastest century in cricket history: Chris Gayle hits a ton off 30 balls for Royal Challengers Bangalore in Indian Premier League

West Indian hammers highest ever individual T20 score of 175 not out in brutal IPL innings

Chris Gayle tends to inspire dread among bowlers but even Pune Warriors' attack can have had no inkling of the scale of what was about to happen. The West Indian opener smashed a century off only 30 balls for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, the fastest in Twenty20 cricket, then went on to reach 175 not out, the highest individual score in the format. And he hit a record 17 sixes. In typical Gayle fashion, he hardly broke into a sweat.

"I'm lost for words. It was just one of those days. It's a good wicket and I started well," Gayle said. "I got a good total. I can't say it's a decent total – it's a good total."

Since the advent of T20 cricket the game has been revolutionised by big-hitting exploits to the point where bowlers must wonder why they bother to turn up. But even so, scoring at more than three runs per ball is astonishing in any estimation. The fastest recorded hundred in terms of balls faced had been 34, by David Hookes in a first-class match for South Australia in 1982, and by another big Aussie, Andrew Symonds, for Kent at the tiny Maidstone ground in a T20 bash in 2004.

Pune had been an ambitious side in this year's IPL. Their owners had spent £240m on the franchise and Michael Clarke was supposed to lead them until he was forced to withdraw because of a back injury. He avoided the ignominy – where might that have left the fragile Australian psyche? – and fellow Aussie Aaron Finch was already the side's third captain in this tournament.

But Finch might not have been too concerned, having seen Gayle's previous innings in the IPL: 49 not out in 17.5 overs. Actually he might have been more worried about Gayle's opening partner, Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lankan whose thrilling innovations including the ramp shot have made him one of the world's most dangerous batsman. Dilshan contributed an almost sedate 33 off 36 balls in a first-wicket stand of 167. England's Luke Wright had him caught in the deep and he tried to rouse his team-mates. Then the next over went for 29.

In fact it had been an uneventful start; three runs came from the first over. But Gayle had got his eye in, and he hit the first two balls of the next over to the boundary. Then it rained and there was a delay of 33 minutes. The left-hander may have got bored during the interruption because he came out and hit three more fours in the over.

Gayle actually eased up towards the end of his innings, South African AB de Villiers taking up the cudgels to make 31 off eight balls as the hosts posted a record Twenty20 score of 263 for 5. Yuvraj Singh tried to grab Gayle's bat off him afterwards, while Wright walked away with highly respectable figures. But he could not fire with the bat as Pune managed only 133 for 9 in reply.

Gayle even picked up two wickets in his only over of gentle off-spin, the last of the match. He still had enough energy to perform his Gangnam-style jig; sometimes it's just your day. Except Chris Gayle seems to have a lot of them.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Hundreds in a hurry: Fastest centuries

30 balls

Chris Gayle Royal Challengers Bangalore v Pune Warriors, IPL, 23 April 2013

34 balls

Andrew Symonds Kent v Middlesex, Twenty20 Cup, 2 July 2004

35 balls

Louis van der Westhuizen Namibia v Kenya, unofficial T20 international, 7 November 2011

37 balls

Shahid Afridi Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ODI, 4 October 1996

Scott Styris Sussex v Gloucs, Twenty20 Cup, 24 July 2012

Yusuf Pathan Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians, IPL, 13 March 2010

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links