Windies star Chris Gayle marked his comeback to ODI cricket by smashing a stunning century in the first ODI against England on Wednesday. The southpaw slammed 135 with the help of three fours and a staggering 12 sixes. In doing so, he toppled Shahid Afridi to top the list of most international sixes.
Gayle hit a six of the first ball in the 15th over off Moeen Ali to surpass Pakistan’s Afridi. Gayle now has 488 international sixes, twelve more than Afridi. New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum (398), Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya (352) and India’s Rohit Sharma (349) complete the top-five. MS Dhoni is at the sixth position with 348 sixes to his name.
Gayle, who recently announced that he will retire from ODIs after ICC World Cup 2019, achieved the feat in his 444th match while Afridi had smashed 476 sixes from 524 matches. Gayle has now smashed 276 sixes in ODIs, 103 sixes in T20Is and 98 maximums in Tests.
Gayle also holds the record for most ODI hundreds by a Windies batsman with 23 and is their second-leading run-scorer in the 50-over format with 9,727 runs.
Gayle’s stunning ton, nonetheless, went in vain as England pulled off a brilliant chase to win the first ODI by six wickets.
Centuries from Jason Roy and Joe Root helped England complete their highest chase in ODIs after they were asked to chase a mammoth 360. Roy scored 123 off 85 balls and Root 102 off 97 as England crossed the line with eight balls to spare. Skipper Eoin Morgan also played a crucial knock of 65 as England once again showed their credentials as firm-favourites for the World Cup.
Earlier in the game, the hosts had piled up 360 for 8. Gayle top-scored for the home side with 135 while Shai Hope also played an important knock of 64. Windies ended their innings with a record 23 sixes.
The second game of the five-match series will take place on Friday.