The T20 World Cup of 2007 was the tournament’s inaugural edition. Played in the same year as that of the ODI World Cup, it was an experiment to ascertain the future of the 20-over format and cricket to an extent. Thanks to Chris Gayle’s explosive start, the tournament was off to a flier even though the innings ended in a losing cause.
At Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, the home captain Graeme Smith won the toss and inserted West Indies to bat first. With Dwayne Smith lending support from one side, Chris Gayle launched an opening assault on the South African bowler. Smith ended up contributing 35 runs in the 145-run opening partnership. Gayle’s hurricane continued and it only stopped in the 17th over.
Q: Who hit the first T20I century?
A: @henrygayle, who turns 39 today! ?
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) September 21, 2018
It was Johann van der Wath who stopped the Gayle storm. The left-handed opener returned after making 117 runs in 57 balls with 7 fours and 10 sixes – a record tally in those times. West Indies ended up with 205/6 in their 20 overs. Powered by Herschelle Gibbs’ 90 (55 balls) and Justin Kemp’s 46*(22 balls), South Africa won the contest by eight wickets.
Although Gayle’s century did not end up in a winning cause, he soon started bossing the 20-over format with his bat. He now holds the record for the most centuries in T20 cricket.