On this day in 2007, the first-ever century in a T20I match was scored by none other than West Indies' Chris Gayle. The hard-hitting left-hander smashed a quick-fire 117 off just 57 balls in a losing cause against South Africa in the very first game of the 2007 edition of ICC World Twenty20.
The nature of the T20 format demands that the batsmen score quick and take risks and hence a player reaching triple figures is a rather rare sight and perhaps more commendable than a century in any other format.
While centuries in T20s may come once in a blue moon, these five batsmen have done it rather often in the shortest format of the game. Here are the five batsmen with the most centuries in T20s:
Chris Gayle – 22
The great West Indies batsman has represented 26 teams in T20s across the globe and has struck 22 centuries and has over 13,000 runs in the shortest format of the sport.
After a breathtaking effort in 2007 against South Africa, it took the Universal Boss nine years to score his second hundred in T20 international against England in the 2016 ICC Cricket World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium in India. Gayle also has the most centuries in the Indian Premier League, one more than former Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Virat Kohli and also most sixes in the tournament.
In all, the big man has notched 22 centuries in his T20 career, significantly more than his competitors.
Michael Klinger – 8
Retired Australian batsman Michael Klinger spent the majority of his career piling runs aplenty in the Australian domestic circuit. The Melbourne-native has scored 5,960 runs in T20s at a good average of 34.45.
The last of his eight centuries came in England for Gloucestershire against Kent last year, where he scored 102*. Klinger played three T20Is for Australia and scored 143 runs for the national team.
David Warner – 8
One of the most destructive batsmen of his generation, David Warner has been a class-act in T20 since his debut in 2007 where he scored a magnificent 89 off 43 balls for Australia against South Africa and has since amassed over 9000 runs in T20 cricket.
Four of Warner’s eight centuries have come in the IPL and one for the Australian team, which came in October last year against Sri Lanka at the Adelaide Oval.
Aaron Finch – 8
Warner’s partner in crime, Aaron Finch has also struck eight centuries in T20s.
The Australian skipper is the only player with two scores of 150 in T20Is. He scored 156 off 56 balls against England in Southampton in 2013 and demolished Zimbabwe in 2018 at the Harare Cricket Ground in 2018, scoring 172 off 76 balls, the second-highest individual score in T20 history.
Finch too has over 9000 runs in his T20 career.
Luke Wright – 7
All-rounder Luke Wright is an ever-present in T20 leagues across the world and it comes as little surprise that the Englishman has hit seven centuries in T20s.
While his international and IPL career has been rather lacklustre, his domestic T20 record is sensational. Wright is the all-time leading scorer in the English domestic T20 league with over 4000 runs. The 35-year-old has scored five centuries for the Sussex Sharks, with the latest coming all the way back in 2017.
Wright’s other two tons have come in the Big Bash League in Australia for the Melbourne Stars. The first came in the inaugural season of the tournament against the Hobart Hurricanes where he struck 117 off 60 balls and the second came in season 5 in the Melbourne Derby against the Melbourne Renegades, where he finished with an unbeaten 109 off 63 balls.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Alexander Joe