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August 18, 2019

Master Blaster

Sports

August 18, 2019

For cricket lovers one-day cricket is better than Test matches because a lot of runs are scored in this format in a single day, but it is not better than T20 matches as more fours and sixes are hit in the shortest format.

When we talk about entertainment in cricket, there can be few more exciting sights than Chris Gayle batting at his best — whenever he does the spectators are on their feet.

When in form, Gayle can destroy even the most potent of bowling attacks. At the age of 39, Gayle, who likes himself to be called Universe Boss, continues to be one of the best entertainers in the game.

Last week, Gayle achieved two milestones during the second ODI against India in Trinidad. He became the most capped player for West Indies and their highest run-getter in ODIs.

He surpassed former great Brian Lara who played 299 matches and scored 10,405 runs, including 19 hundreds and 63 half-centuries at an average of 40.48.

In 301 matches, Gayle has scored 10,480 runs, averaging 37.83 with 25 centuries and 54 fifties. He has scored ODI centuries at nineteen different cricket grounds.

Gayle now stands 12th in the list of highest ODI scorers. Little Master Sachin Tendulkar is at the top with 18,426 runs in 463 ODIs.

“It is a great achievement to play 300th ODI. When I look back, I say, could I make 300th ODI and I am very thankful that I am playing this 300th match. I enjoy playing this format without a doubt,” said Gayle before his 300th ODI.

Christopher Henry Gayle had announced that he would retire from ODIs after the World Cup 2019. But during the World Cup he changed his decision, and said he would play ODIs at least against India and at least one more Test match. The reason may have been his desire to retire as the most successful batsman from the Caribbean in terms of most matches and most runs.

Gayle had also expressed his desire to play a farewell Test in his native Jamaica. He hasn’t played a Test for almost five years. His last Test appearance was in September 2014, against Bangladesh. And he is not included in the 13-men squad announced for the two-Test series against India.

The hard-hitting Jamaican was not in a good form in the 2019 World Cup. He managed just 242 runs in nine matches, averaging 30.25.

Legendary former fast bowlers Curtly Ambrose and Andy Roberts were among the most prominent critics who didn’t want Gayle in the ODI series against India.

Gayle is also the only West Indian with a double hundred in ODIs. He scored a double century in the 2015 World Cup match against Zimbabwe. He is one of only six players in ODIs to have three or more scores of 150.

He also holds the West Indies record of fastest ODI fifty — off 19 balls against England this year.

Gayle’s century off 55 deliveries in an ODI against England is the second fastest for West Indies. The fastest is Brian Lara’s 45-ball century against Bangladesh in 1999.

In his 103 Tests, he scored 7,214 runs, averaging 42.18, with 15 centuries and 37 fifties. He scored two triple hundreds.

In T20 format, he has played 58 matches for West Indies, scoring 1,627 runs at the strike rate of 142.84 with two centuries and 13 half-centuries.

Gayle was the first batsman to score a century in T20 Internationals — he scored 117 against South Africa in the first match of the 2007 World T20.

In the semi-final of the 2009 World T20, against Sri Lanka, he became the first international player to carry his bat in the shortest format of the game.

Gayle has hit the highest number of sixes when all three formats’ statistics are combined. He has smashed as many as 534 sixes: 98 in Tests, 331 in ODIs and 105 in T20Is. In ODIs, the tall left-hander is behind only Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, who holds the record with 351 sixes.

Gayle also holds the record for most sixes in a bilateral ODI series. He hit 39 sixes against England earlier this year. He has a staggering 84 sixes in 35 ODIs against England, most by any player against an opponent.

Gayle is also the second oldest to win a Man-of-the-Series award in ODIs (39 years and 162 days) against England earlier this year. The oldest is South Africa’s Imran Tahir, who was 39 years & 193 days old when he bagged the prize against Zimbabwe in 2018.

During the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL), Gayle became the fastest to 4000 IPL runs and the only player to hit 300 sixes in the tournament.

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