Chris Gayle became the first batsman to make 10,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket, getting to the landmark in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s match against Gujarat Lions at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Tuesday (April 18).
He has so far played 290 matches, and got to the landmark with a steer down to third man off Basil Thampi in the fourth over of the match, before exploding subsequently to end up with 77 off 38. He has 18 centuries and 743 sixes in the format – both world records.
How did he reach there? The numbers, the innings, the teams, and the grounds – Wisden India dissects the T20 career of a pioneer.
|Matches||Inns||Not Out||Runs||HS||Ave||SR||100||50||6/4||Percentage runs in boundaries|
Gayle has represented 20 teams in T20s, and most of his runs unsurprisingly have come for Bangalore and West Indies. He won two World T20 titles with West Indies, made it to two IPL finals and one Champions League T20 final with Bangalore, and has also won the Caribbean Premier League twice with Jamaica Tallawahs.
Overall record for teams represented
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||86||85||11||3357||175*||45.36||5||21|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||16||16||1||463||88||30.86||0||2|
|Stanford Super Stars||2||2||1||65||65*||65.00||0||1|
|PCA Masters XI||2||1||0||11||11||11.00||0||0|
* Gayle holds the record for most consecutive innings without a duck – 145 (from February 10, 2012, to February 5, 2016). The next best run is Michael Hussey’s 91 innings.
* Gayle holds the record for most number of sixes in an innings: He hit 17 for Bangalore against Pune Warriors India while making 175 not out in IPL 2013. In the same innings, he hit 13 fours, meaning he scored 154 runs in boundaries – the most by a batsman in any T20 knock.
*Apart from holding the record for most sixes, Gayle has also hit the most number of fours in T20s: 769
* Gayle is one of only two batsmen, along with Brendon McCullum, to have two 150-plus scores in the game’s shortest format.
List of T20 centuries
|8||117||West Indies||South Africa||Sep 11, 2007||Johannesburg||Lost by eight wickets|
|56||102*||Bangalore||Kolkata Knight Riders||Apr 22, 2011||Kolkata||Won by nine wickets|
|59||106||Bangalore||Kings XI Punjab||May 6, 2011||Bangalore||Won by 85 runs|
|77||109*||Matabeleland Tuskers||Mid West Rhinos||Nov 29, 2011||Harare||Lost by seven wickets|
|81||100*||Sydney Thunder||Adelaide Strikers||Dec 23, 2011||Sydney||Won by six wickets|
|87||101*||Barisal Burners||Sylhet Royals||Feb 10, 2012||Mirpur||Won by ten wickets|
|90||116||Barisal Burners||Dhaka Gladiators||Feb 14, 2012||Mirpur||Won by 21 runs|
|104||128*||Bangalore||Delhi Daredevils||May 20, 2012||Delhi||Won by 21 runs|
|124||122*||Jamaica||Guyana||Jan 19, 2013||Gros Islet||Lost by six wickets|
|126||114||Dhaka Gladiators||Sylhet Royals||Feb 15, 2013||Mirpur||Won by four runs|
|134||175*||Bangalore||Pune Warriors India||Apr 23, 2013||Bangalore||Won by 130 runs|
|171||111*||Jamaica Tallawahs||St Lucia Zouks||Jul 12, 2014||St George’s||Won by seven wickets|
|183||108*||Lions||Warriors||Nov 7, 2014||East London||Won by ten wickets|
|199||117||Bangalore||Kings XI Punjab||May 6, 2015||Bangalore||Won by 138 runs|
|207||151*||Somerset||Kent||May 31, 2015||Taunton||Lost by three runs|
|214||105||Jamaica Tallawahs||Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel||Jul 9, 2015||Kingston||Won by 50 runs|
|236||100*||West Indies||England||Mar 16, 2016||Mumbai||Won by six wickets|
|256||108*||Jamaica Tallawahs||Trinbago Knight Riders||Jul 4, 2016||Port of Spain||Won by seven wickets|
|Year by year Century breakup||2007: 1, 2011: 4, 2012: 3, 2013: 3, 2014: 2, 2015: 3, 2016: 4|
*For Gayle, 14 centuries have come in victories; 10 have come in chases. He has scored his centuries in 14 venues across India (4), West Indies (4), South Africa (2), England (1), Bangladesh (1), Australia (1) and Zimbabwe (1)
*Gayle’s fastest fifty is off 12 balls. It came for Melbourne Renegades against Adelaide Strikes in BBL 2015-16. It’s the joint fastest along with Yuvraj Singh’s 12-ball 50 for India against England in the World T20 2007.
* His fastest 100 is off 30 balls. It came for Bangalore against Pune in IPL 2013. It’s the fastest century ever in the format.
*He has been dismissed in the 90s on six occasions, and has remained unbeaten in the 90s three times.
There are five special innings among the 10,000 runs that make Chris Gayle the T20 phenomenon he is today.
It was the season of Gangnam Style. It was also the year that Gayle officially declared himself ‘World Boss’. The highest individual score in T20s was an expression of the format – flamboyance, a bit of luck, cheekiness and brilliance. He scored 66.5% of Bangalore’s total (263, the highest-ever so far) and they won by 130 runs.
When asked if that was his best innings to date, Gayle said, “It’s a top innings but I’ll have to reflect on my past innings too. Scoring 175 runs in a T20 game is never easy. You’ve to strategise well, by knowing when to go and when to tone it down. Because it was a good wicket I didn’t want to just blast and get out. So I made sure I was there for 18 overs, which I did.”
Is Chris Gayle done? Has he exhausted his T20 prowess and should the ‘Universe Boss’ just go back home? Those were some of the questions swirling as Gayle took centre stage in West Indies’ first group game at the Wankhede Stadium against England. Would he be able to deliver the goods to kick-start the campaign and regain the trophy? Affirmative. Smashing an unbeaten 100 in a chase of 182 blew up any reservations people had about the power of Gayle, and set the tone for West Indies’ title finish.
“To destroy an attack like that, the only person in my time that I would put him with is Sir Vivian [Richards] because Sir Vivian used to go out there and destroy attacks like that,” said Darren Sammy. “I think he is up there with Sir Viv in the way he tears apart attacks.”
102 FOR BANGALORE AGAINST KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS (KOLKATA, IPL 2011)
Unsold at the 2011 IPL auction after representing Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous three seasons, he was brought in as a replacement for Dirk Nannes at Bangalore. And what did he do? Smash 102 off 55 balls in a total of 175, to begin the revival of Bangalore’s campaign right to the final. This knock gave birth to the legend of Gayle in T20 cricket.
107 FOR BANGALORE AGAINST KINGS XI PUNJAB (BANGALORE, IPL 2011)
Gayle soon endeared himself to the vociferous Bangalore crowd in his second match at home in 2011. In a total of 205 at a ground he was starting to love, he made over half the runs. A century and three wickets to boot – there was no separating the Bangalore fans from Gayle now.
75 FOR WEST INDIES AGAINST AUSTRALIA (COLOMBO, WORLD TWENTY20 2012)
Gayle’s aura was gathering steam and it seemed poetic the most exciting T20 team’s biggest star carried them into the finals of the World T20 2012. Granted, his 75 accounted for only 36.5% of the runs scored by West Indies (205), but the way in which he scored them inspired his teammates.
Gayle’s success has come across different grounds. The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, which is a batting paradise on most days and has recorded most sixes in the history of IPL, is his favourite. Overall, he has played across 60 venues in the world.
Top five grounds
|M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore||47||45||6||1782||175*||45.69||3||10|
|Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur||21||21||3||799||116||44.38||3||2|
|Sabina Park, Kingston||15||15||3||485||105||40.41||1||3|
|Eden Gardens, Kolkata||10||10||1||475||102*||52.77||1||3|
|County Ground, Taunton||5||5||2||368||151*||122.66||1||2|
*Gayle’s record at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium is also the second-most T20 runs made by any batsman at one venue. Virat Kohli tops the chart with 2160 runs at the same ground.
The love story with Bangalore doesn’t end here. Gayle has won IPL’s orange cap in 2012 (733 runs) and 2013 (708 runs). He holds the record for most T20 runs in a year. In fact, five of the top ten spots on that table belong to him.
Most number of T20 runs scored in a year
*Gayle and Kohli are the only two batsmen to score four T20 centuries in one calendar year.
Gayle has played against 85 opponents, and his favourites are Kings XI Punjab, the only team against whom he has two centuries.
Top five opponents
|Kings XI Punjab||15||15||1||797||117||56.92||2||6|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||12||12||2||550||102*||55.00||1||3|
|Pune Warriors India||5||5||1||383||175*||95.75||1||2|
Gayle is a brilliant opener, but his record in tournament finals has been average. Of the eight finals he has played in, he has contributed in only two title wins for the Tallahwahs and in the most recent IPL final loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Scores in T20 finals
|Stanford Twenty20 2008||Jamaica (capt)||Trinidad & Tobago||6||Won by nine wickets|
|IPL 2011||Bangalore||Chennai Super Kings||0||Lost by 58 runs|
|Champions League 2011||Bangalore||Mumbai Indians||5||Lost by 31 runs|
|World T20 2012||West Indies||Sri Lanka||3||Won by 36 runs|
|CPL 2013||Jamaica Tallawahs
|Guyana Amazon Warriors||47*||Won by seven wickets|
|World T20 2016||West Indies||England||4||Won by four wickets|
|IPL 2016||Bangalore||Sunrisers Hyderabad||76||Lost by eight runs|
|CPL 2016||Jamaica Tallawahs
|Guyana Amazon Warriors||54||Won by nine wickets|
T20 matches, whether batting first or chasing, are always about going out guns blazing. In 285 innings, Gayle has remained not out on 36 occasions, remarkable for an opener and one who plays an attacking role.
*Gayle has been retired not out once.
* Gayle is one of four batsmen to carry his bat through a T20 innings. It came during his unbeaten 63 for West Indies in a 57-run loss against Sri Lanka in the 2009 World T20.
“One of those days when a guy who is so good and powerful gets on a roll and you just can’t stop him.”
Aaron Finch said this about Gayle’s 175*. It sums up how Gayle puts on a show, especially when he gets into his element. He has been a pioneer of the T20 format and he’s not going to let the world forget that anytime soon.