Chris Gayle delivers his best innings yet
If you thought you have seen the best of Chris Gayle a while ago, you might just be wrong. If you thought the carnage from Jos Butler and co. was all you'd get in today's game, you are certainly wrong. And if you missed Chris Gayle's innings today, my sympathies are with you.
Don't hit your laptop yet to watch the highlights. The whole innings was a highlights package, to say the least. If as a child, you ever dreamt of playing a cricketing knock filled with sixes against the best team in the world - Gayle just gave you a picture of what it would look like in reality.
Over the last 20 years, I have watched some of Chris Gayle's best knocks live. Including the scores of runs to spoil India's party on his 2002 tour. Including Champions Trophy 2006. Including his Test triple centuries. Including both his T20 international hundreds. Including his ODI double century in the 2015 World Cup. And yes, including all his unbelievable knocks over the year.
But his century at Grenada today - his second in the series so far - looked nothing less than a practice session filled with huge, towering and trademark Chris Gayle sixes. Opening the innings in an attempt to chase a total of 418, Gayle did not waste any time - he started hitting sixes in the third over of the chase.
In his innings today, Chris Gayle was simply hitting sixes at will. He would have put your video game batsman who hits sixes at will to shame. Gayle hit the ball as clean and long as it has ever been hit, if not better, and did not discriminate between bowlers. I am a huge fan of Jos Butler as well, but Gayle at this age is simply old wine.
Chris Gayle reached his century in 55 balls - the fastest ODI century ever registered in the Caribbean. After losing Campbell and Hope early, Gayle found a good partner in Darren Bravo, with the veterans registering 176 runs for the third wicket. Bravo's wicket was soon followed by that of Hetmyer, and all the Windies fan were looking up to their captain Jason Holder.
Holder and Gayle decided to play out Mark Wood and the other bowlers in the middle phase, and only went for the occasional boundary. After stitching a 69 run partnership with his captain, Gayle was finally bowled by Ben Stokes on the first ball of the 35th over, with Windies still needing 124 runs to win (at the time of writing). He finished with 162 off 97 balls with 11 fours and 14 sixes to his name.
Gayle also completed 500 international sixes, 10000 ODI runs and the record for the most sixes in an international cricket series on the day which saw many team and innings records being broken one after the other. It is only cricketers like Chris Gayle who justify age-old sayings such as 'age is just a number' and 'form is temporary, class is permanent'