Apr 232013

Published: 11:51AM Wednesday April 24, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

McCullum knew Gayle would break record (Source: Getty Images)

Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum – Source: Getty Images

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Explosive West Indies opener Chris Gayle smashed a century off 30 balls in an Indian Premier League match today. (Source: Sky Sport) Highlights: Gayle hits 17 sixes in record breaking innings (1:52)

06:46 Gayle shatters records in 30-ball century video

Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum always suspected his 158 in the inaugural IPL match would one day be broken and if it was ever going to be surpassed it really could only ever be one man.

And so it proved when West Indian juggernaut Chris Gayle once again mesmerised the cricketing world with a brutal 175 not out off 66 balls batting for the Bangalore Royal Challengers in an IPL match against the Pune Warriors.

In an innings which included 17 sixes and 13 fours, the 33-year-old Jamaican also shattered the record for the fastest century in all of cricket, breaking the 34-ball hundred scored by Australian Andrew Symonds for Kent against Middlesex in 2004.

But if that was record was thought to be nigh-on-impossible to break, McCullum’s sensational innings for the Kolkata Knightriders in 2008 was another mark which many observers thought would stand the test of time.

“I have been honoured to hold that record [highest IPL individual score] and far more delighted that some body as destructive as Chris (Gayle) has now taken over,” McCullum told the Times of India five years and six days after his own innings set the cricketing world alight.

“I was following Chris’ innings on the bus while coming back from practice. It’s an unbelievable inning. He is the most powerful batsman in T20 and deserves that record.”

“I knew all along that it would be broken and that it had to be Chris.”

The highly respected cricinfo website rated MCullum’s 158 [off 73 balls] as the best IPL innings of all time in 2012 and that is completely understandable when you consider he scored 71% of his team’s runs, hit 13 sixes [which was a record before today] and had a strike rate of 216.43.

In comparison Gayle hit 67% of his team’s runs, hit 17 sixes and had a strike rate of 265.15. Advantage Gayle.

“Words can’t explain how I feel, I think later on tonight when I am by myself I can look back and reflect on what I’ve done today,” Gayle said.

“I’m grateful, overall from a team point of view, I’m really happy with the win, that put us on top of the table, just one of those innings, one of these days when you come out and things go according to how you want it to.”

Twitter Strom

Gayle’s innings also created a Twitter storm around the world as Bollywood stars and Olympic heroes heaped praise on the big Jamaican.

“What is with the genes available in Jamaica . Gale(Gayle) , Usain (Bolt)! You set an ultimate and they go and destroy it,” Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan’s tweeted.

Bolt himself, who holds a few of his own records and is an old friend of Gayle’s, was as succinct as his one of his sprints when he tweeted: “Masterful performance @henrygayle.”

Former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor saw the innings first hand as one of the Pune Warriors reserves and was left speechless.

“Wow @henrygayle just to good. Was awesome watching. Not sure what else to say,” Taylor tweeted.

But the tweet of the day probably goes to Indian captain MS Dhoni who summed up the feelings of bowlers around the world when he wrote:

“Life is all about taking the right decision,seeing Gayle bat today I think I took the right decision of being a wicket keeper.”

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