Chris Gayle has set a new record for the fastest century in the history of professional cricket with an astonishing ton off just 30 balls for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, then went on to make the highest score ever seen in Twenty20, ending unbeaten with 175 off 66 balls.
The West Indian battered the Pune Warriors bowling attack with a century that included seven dot balls, four singles, eight fours and 11 sixes for the home side at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. By the end of his innings he had amassed 17 sixes and 13 fours as Bangalore recorded a total of 263for five, the highest innings total in a Twenty20 match.
Gayle has been havinga hit-and-miss IPL in 2013 thus far, with lowscores coupled with an85 off 50 balls and a 92 off 58. But his assault on the Pune bowling attack on Tuesday was in a different category all together.
The 30-ball ton beats the previous 34-ball Twenty20 record set by Australia's Andrew Symonds. The record in 50-over cricket is Shahid Afridi's 37-ball ton for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in 1996. The Test record belongs to Gayle's fellow West Indian viv Richards, who flayed England for a 56-ball 100 in Antigua in 1986.
By the end of the innings, it was hard not to feel sympathy for the bowlers.