In the 14th over of the first One Day International against England, veteran opener Chris Gayle smashed Moeen Ali for a six over long on, with the entire Barbados stadium erupting in a frenzy. That six, while a common sight for Windies patrons when the 39-year-old is at the crease, meant that Chris Gayle had now surpassed Shahid Afridi to claim the record for most number of international sixes.
Chris Gayle, who represents Kings XI Punjab in the VIVO Indian Premier League, rolled back the years as he smashed the hapless English bowlers for 12 sixes as he scored a stunning 135 off just 129 balls on his Windies ODI comeback after a seven-month absence.
In entirely predictable news, Chris Gayle is still ridiculously good.— Dan Cancian (@dan_cancian) February 20, 2019
Chris Gayle warming up nicely for @lionsdenkxip season #IPL2019— Sunni Upal (@RSUpal) February 20, 2019
The Universe Boss @henrygayle doesn’t get enough credit for what he has achieved as a Batsman ... Many forget he also played 103 Tests ... #WivENG— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 20, 2019
He started slowly, with John Campbell and Shai Hope doing the bulk of the scoring early on, but after that six in the 14th over, none of the English bowlers could stop the Gayle Storm.
"It's one of my best innings, you check my career and I haven't started like that," Gayle said. "But it's not how you start, it's how you finish. I used a bit of experience, knew which bowlers to target, the new-ball bowlers bowled well.
"Raise the Windies flag high, since it's my last home series, keep the flag high and make sure everyone gets a chance to see that," he said of his celebration, where he placed his helmet on the handle and raised it."
Moeen Ali faced the worst of the left-hander’s wrath as he was smashed for six maximums, while Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood were hit for two sixes each in back to back overs. Gayle also smashed a six off Adil Rashid in the 44th over, to also claim the record of having 100 international sixes against a single opposition in England.
Chris Gayle hits his 24th ton in ODIs.— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) February 20, 2019
Started off slowly then vintage Gayle came to the fore. Hit 121m, 111m and 108m sixes. He now has the most sixes in international cricket.
Is still going strong at 39#WIvENG
CHRIS GAYLE is now the first player to hit 100 SIXES against a particular opponent in International cricket. (vs ENGLAND)— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) February 20, 2019
Gayle hit 15 sixes in Tests, 57 sixes in ODIs and 28 sixes in T20Is against England thus far. #WIvENG
Chris Gayle becomes the first player to hit 10+ sixes in an ODI inning on three different instances (vs ZIM, 2015; vs UAE, 2018; vs ENG, Today)— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) February 20, 2019
AB de Villiers, Martin Guptill and Rohit Sharma hit 10+ sixes in an ODI twice. #WIvENG
Gayle now has 487 International sixes, which includes 103 sixes in T20s and 98 in Test cricket. Rohit Sharma is next on the list amongst active International cricketers, with 349 sixes - more than 125 behind.
The Universe Boss, who is set to quit ODI cricket after the World Cup, already holds the record for most number of ODI centuries by a West Indies player (25) as well as the highest individual ODI score (215) for his country.
#WIvENG Gayle's 12 sixes are the most in an ODI innings in the West Indies since Denesh Ramdin's 11 vs Bangladesh, Warner Park, 2014. #MenInMaroon #ItsOurGame pic.twitter.com/4VIdNMQubP— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) February 20, 2019