Melbourne Renegades masters blast their way into Twenty20 record books
It was a night of milestones for Melbourne Renegades pair Chris Gayle and captain Aaron Finch as they helped their side open their Big Bash League campaign in style up in Brisbane.
Finch, who blasted 65 off 45 balls in a man-of-the match performance, became the first batsman to reach 1000 runs in the five seasons of the Big Bash League.
The star batsman brought up the milestone with a leg-side flick off Brisbane Heat seamer James Hopes when he reached 39.
Finch overtook Perth Scorchers veteran Michael Klinger during his innings as the highest run-scorer in the BBL to date.
Klinger needs just 11 runs to join Finch in the elite club. The Scorchers first match of their title defence is against the Adelaide Strikers in Perth on Monday night.
All eyes were on Gayle as he strode to the crease wearing the number `333′ on the back of his red shirt – a tribute to his highest Test score playing for the West Indies.
Gayle, making his first appearance for the Renegades, blasted a quick-fire 23 off just 16 balls opening the innings alongside Finch.
But it was the second six of his innings, struck off Heat paceman Andrew Fekete with his custom golden bat, that put Gayle into the T20 record books.
It was the 600th six of his career, making him the first player to reach a tally that more than likely will continue to grow.
While Gayle’s innings was short, brief but none the less entertaining, at least it was an improvement on his average in his previous BBL stint back in 2012-13 at the Sydney Thunder.
That season he averaged just 19.57 with just one half-century from seven appearances as the Thunder went winless.
At least he can now say he’s been part of a winning team in the world’s premier domestic T20 competition – and Renegades fans will be hoping his new blade brings more `golden’ performances over the next few weeks.