On this day (September 11), in 2007, the T20 International format saw its first every century. No guesses who, it’s the Universe Boss Chris Gayle! Interestingy, it came in the very first match of the inaugural ICC World T20 against hosts South Africa. Unfortunately for West Indies and Chris Gayle, it came in a losing cause.
Gayle smashed 117 off 57 while batting first, in a knock that had 10 sixes and 7 fours. South Africa opted to field first in Johannesburg but had to see a Gayle storm as the West Indian, along with Devon Smith, put on 145 for the opening stand within 14 overs. Smith contributed merely 35 off 34 balls in the partnership.
Gayle carried on for three more overs and crossed his ton before falling to Van der Wath in the 17th over. Once he fell, West Indies couldn’t get the big finish but managed to get to 205 for 6 in their 20 overs.
— ICC (@ICC) September 11, 2020
Such a total would have been enough on most days but South Africa were determined to win their first T20 World Cup match on home soil. Herschelle Gibbs made 90* off 55 while Justin Kemp smashed 46* off 22, as South Africa cruised home in 17.4 overs with as many as eight wickets in hand. AB de Villiers made 16 off 9 while captain Graeme Smith made 28.
The Man of the Match, though, was Gayle. The big hitting batsman has since made 22 centuries in T20 cricket, scoring 13296 runs. He was also a part of West Indies’ T20 World Cup wins in 2012 and 2016. Gayle, who will turn 41 soon, is a part of the IPL 2020 playing for Kings XI Punjab.
India went on to win that tournament, beating Pakistan in the final.