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IPL: Chris Gayle and his memorable unbeaten 175

Between 2009 and 2021, Chris Gayle established himself as one of the most iconic players in the Indian Premier League with only Virat Kohli (seven) bettering his total of six hundreds in the competition.

But one Gayle century stands out among the rest in the IPL.

Back in April 2013, Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Gayle made history with one of the best Twenty20 innings of all time, striking an unbeaten 175 off a mere 66 deliveries against Pune Warriors.

It remains the highest ever individual score in the competition and, as the latest edition of the IPL approaches, here is a look at how it unfolded.

Gayle begins 2013 campaign on front foot

At the start of the 2013 IPL season, West Indies maestro Gayle had already earned the reputation of being one of the most destructive batsmen in T20 cricket.

He finished the 2012 season with more sixes (59) than any other player, while his total of 733 runs earned a nomination for the Orange Cap.

And in his opening game of the subsequent campaign, he reached 92 not out against the Mumbai Indians, showing that he was just getting started.

And so, while Gayle's record-breaking total against Pune Warriors later that season was a remarkable feat few would have predicted, the warning signs had certainly been there.

Windies ace racks up 50 from just 17 balls

It was only 20 days into the 2013 season when Gayle put in a performances for the ages.

Bangalore's opponents Pune Warriors were on their third captain in seven games with Aaron Finch having taken the role following the dismissals of Angelo Matthews and Ross Taylor.

Finch won the toss and elected to bowl first, but could not have envisaged what would happen next.

In the second over of their innings, Gayle hit back-to-back fours for the Royal Challengers before the match was briefly halted by a rain delay.

But the break did Pune Warriors and, in particular medium-pacer Ishwar Pandey, no good.

Upon returning to complete the over, Pandey went for another three fours with 21 runs having been taken from his six deliveries.

It took until the fifth over for Gayle to record his first six but another four maximums followed in the same over, along with a four, with a dejected Mitchell Marsh going for 28 runs from his six deliveries.

Gayle reached the 50-mark after only 17 balls and Pune Warriors knew they were in trouble.

Record-breaking Gayle helps Bangalore to mammoth total

Gayle, who is the leading runscorer in all forms of T20 cricket, required only 13 more balls to turn his haul of 50 into a century, which he brought up with another six off the bowling of Ashok Dinda.

The West Indies talent began to target the midwicket boundary in pursuit of his record-breaking total and Pune Warriors had no answers.

Specialist spinner Ali Murtaza was deployed to no avail, going for 18 off his first over, before captain Finch stepped up and went for 29 runs off his opening six balls - five of which were put away by Gayle.

After a mere nine overs, Gayle had reached 103 and he reached the hundred mark after only 30 balls, making it the fastest century in T20 cricket to date.

The run-rate naturally slowed after and Gayle's opening partner Tilakaratne Dilshan was eventually dismissed for 33 off 36 balls.

It was a remarkable opening stand but the loss of Dilshan did not stop Gayle, who reached the 150-mark from 53 balls, adding another 27 runs in the subsequent 13 deliveries.

Bangalore finished on 263-5, which remains the highest total in a single IPL innings and they ran out comfortable 130-run winners.

Gayle, fresh from the most devastating display in the competition's history, even made his mark with the ball, taking two wickets in just one over.

Gayle called time on his IPL career in 2021, having played for Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab, later known as Punjab Kings.

He racked up 4,965 runs in the competition in that time and was inducted into the Royal Challengers Bangalore Hall of Fame in May 2022 for his contribution to the team.

But of everything Gayle did throughout his IPL tenure, that famous century against Pune Warriors was never topped and it is possible that it never will be.

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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