Chris Gayle fans across the globe were left nostalgic on Sunday as he announced that he will retire from One-Day International cricket after the 2019 ICC World Cup. With his marauding batting and Jamaican swagger, the 39-year-old has enthralled audiences in a near 20-year international career.
As Gayle prepares for his next assignment, a five-match ODI series against England, let’s take a look back at some of his most memorable outings with the bat.
Here are Gayle’s five best ODI knocks:
215 vs Zimbabwe
Gayle is one of six men, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Martin Guptill, and Fakhar Zaman being the others, to have an ODI double-century to his name. In 2015, the left-hander became the first player in World Cup history to register a double-ton. At the wrong end of the ‘Gaylestorm’ were Zimbabwe, who conceded 371 in 50 overs thanks to Gayle’s 138-ball 215. The most striking bit about that knock was the fact that Gayle got to the three-figure mark in 105 deliveries, before going absolutely ballistic, of course.
152 not out vs South Africa
After being blown away in the Test series, the West Indies were hoping to make amends in the ensuing ODIs during their South Africa tour of 2003-04. Going into the last game, the five-match series was at 2-1 in favour of the hosts. The Windies needed a special performance to salvage some pride and square the series at the end of a tough tour. And it was Gayle who stepped up to the plate, taking apart a world-class attack led by Shaun Pollock, on his way to an unbeaten 152. Sadly for the West Indies, though, it wasn’t enough as the Proteas chased down the target to clinch the series. However, fans at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg that day will vouch for the fact that Gayle’s knock was one for the ages.
140 vs India
The Indian team has been at the receiving end of a Gayle masterclass, too. Back in 2002, the burly Jamaican smashed the Indian attack to all parts of the ground at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad. Audiences have been thrilled by Gayle’s brilliance on multiple occasions during the Indian Premier League, but that hammering in 2002 will be hard to forget for any Indian fan. Unfortunately for Gayle and the Windies though, India managed to win that match thanks to an unbeaten century by Rahul Dravid.
135 vs New Zealand
Another ODI series. Another Gayle century in the last match. And another series loss for the Windies. The five-match series between New Zealand and West Indies was tied at 1-1 going into the final match in Napier. The visitors were put into bat and Gayle, captaining the side, led from the front with a 129-ball 135. The Windies scored a competitive 293/9 in 50 overs, but the Duckworth–Lewis method went in favour of the hosts after a rain delay, and they sneaked in a nine-run victory. Despite being on the losing side, Gayle was adjudged the Player of the Match for his brutal innings.
133 not out vs South Africa
One of Gayle’s most uncharacteristic yet crucial innings came during the semi-final of the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy. Batting first, South Africa posted a modest 258/8 in 50 overs at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Gayle took it upon himself to take his team through to the final against Australia, scoring a match-winning 133 from 135 deliveries. Although he smashed 17 boundaries and three sixes in his knock, a strike-rate of below 100 proves how Gayle went against his instincts and dug deep for his team. A truly special effort in a crunch game from the West Indian legend.