In the razzmatazz era of franchise-based T20 cricket, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is widely acknowledged as the front-runner among the various leagues. However, in terms of quality of cricket, Australia's Big Bash League (BBL) is also right at the top. The tournament, which began in December 2011, has rapidly grown to become one of the biggest events in modern-day sporting circuit.
In this particular segment, let us take a close look at five of the best batting performances across all BBL seasons thus far. Suffice to say, only knocks resulting in victories are taken into consideration. While higher priority is given to those efforts in knockout matches, the quality of opposition bowlers as well as relative strengths of the teams are also factored into account in order to enumerate the top five knocks in the league's history.
#5 Chris Gayle - 100* (Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers, 2011)
Chris Gayle may currently be ostracized from BBL due to his infamous interview with a female reporter in 2016. However, during the early days of the tournament, the Caribbean opener was one of the biggest draw-cards among overseas players. Long before his eventful stint with Melbourne Renegades, the flamboyant left-hander began his BBL tryst with Sydney Thunder. During the inaugural edition, he gave a performance befitting his reputation as T20 cricket's greatest entertainer.
Chasing 156 for victory, Gayle made mincemeat of Adelaide Strikers by slamming a 54-ball century. Up against a seasoned T20 professional in Alfonso Thomas as well as a rapid Kane Richardson, the Jamaican spearheaded Sydney Thunder's run-chase with an unbeaten ton. He hammered as many as 11 sixes and treated the packed arena to a resplendent display of effortless hitting.