Into the final phase of his ODI career, Chris Gayle is keen to make an impact before officially bidding adieu to the 50-over format. And on Wednesday, he did just that. In the first ODI between West Indies and England, the big-hitting Gayle surpassed Shahid Afridi to put his name atop list of batsmen with most sixes in international cricket.
Gayle hit a six off the first ball in the 15th over of the West Indies innings bowled by Moeen Ali to surpass Pakistan’s Afridi. With that, Gayle edged past the Pakistani batsman for his 477th big hit. The West Indies great achieved this feat in his 444th match while Afridi took 524 matches for 476 sixes.
By the time Gayle was done at the Kensington Oval, he had taken his tally to 488 international sixes. The 39-year-old has now smashed 287 sixes in ODIs, 103 sixes in T20Is and 98 maximums in the longest format of the game.
Gayle went on to score 135 runs from 129 balls with three fours and 12 sixes coming into his inning. That is 84 runs coming from 15 balls in just boundaries. It was his 24th ODI hundred and was eventually dismissed by Ben Stokes in the 47th over.
Third on that list of players with most sixes in international cricket is former New Zealand wicket-keeper-batsman Brendon McCullum, who has hit 398 big hits. Former Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya is fourth with 352 international sixes 352, India’s Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni come in fifth and sixth on the list with 349 and 348 international sixes, followed by AB de Villiers, who has 328 international sixes.
Fair play to Gayle for giving England players a fair warning before the series got underway. “I don’t know who is opening the bowling for England, but any bowler is going to beware of Chris Gayle. That doesn’t change because he is 39 now, they are going to be saying ‘yes, he’s got some grey hairs in his beard, let’s get him now, this is the perfect time to get the universe boss now he is 39′,” he said while announcing his retirement.
“This series against England might be the last time people get to see the Universe Boss on local soil. The last game I played in Barbados for Jamaica I got a hundred and it would be nice to continue where I left off and entertain the home fans as much as possible. At the end of the day everybody should be happy and enjoy the game,” he added.