Lookback at ICC World T20 2009: Chris Gayle launches boundary blitzkrieg at Brett Lee
The time the West Indian batsman blitzed the Australian paceman for 27 runs in one over
10 December 2015 10:17
By the time the 2009 edition of the ICC World Twenty20 in England started, Chris Gayle had established himself as the most destructive top-order batsman in the game.
Everyone knew it, and pitching the ball in Gayle’s zone was a no-no, but Brett Lee made the mistake of pitching the first ball of his third over right where the West Indian loves it.
Australia had put up 169 for 7 after opting to bat, and Gayle and Andre Fletcher started off at a rapid clip – Gayle taking Lee for two boundaries in the first over and Fletcher going after Mitchell Johnson in the second, hitting a four and a six. In just four overs, West Indies had gotten to 44 for no loss, when Lee returned for his third over.
Lee’s first was just short of length and on middle angling towards off and Gayle whacked it over the midwicket boundary. A yorker later, Lee sent in a slower one, which Gayle picked and sent high and handsome over long-on. Another dot ball, then Lee around the wicket, on off, and smashed through the covers for four. It was a no-ball as well, and Gayle sent Fletcher diving for cover next ball, short-arm wallop down the ground for four more. And how did Gayle top off the carnage? Last ball, over the wicket again, short, and sent into the midwicket stands again. The over went for 27 runs.
It was clear from when David Warner struck a 53-ball 63 earlier in the game that the pitch was going to assist the batsman, but what Gayle brought to fore in that over had probably never been seen before – the bewildered look on the faces of the Australian players was proof that they certainly hadn’t experienced anything quite like it before.
Gayle went on to make 88 from 50 deliveries to guide West Indies to a seven-wicket win with six fours and six sixes, but the other three sixes – two off David Hussey and one off Michael Clarke – didn’t quite compare to the ones he dished out to Lee.