The T20 World Cup 2022 tournament will commence in Australia in 50 days. Sportstar will present one iconic moment/match from T20WC history each day, leading up to October 16, 2022.
September 11, 2007 T20 World Cup: Chris Gayle smashes 117 in the first match of the inaugural T20 World Cup
Cricket’s shortest format was the new baby in town - only two years and 19 internationals old - before the inaugural T20 World Cup took flight in the fast lane of the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The start could not have been better. As South Africa (five T20Is old) set out to take on the West Indies (aged 3 T20Is) in the first match, two destructive openers of the times, Chris Gayle and Herschelle Gibbs, produced the perfect start for the frenzy that was to follow.
South Africa elected to bowl first, and its all-seam bowling attack was subjected to the marauding best of Gayle, who displayed glimpses of the ‘Universe Boss’ that he would be.
After securing a reprieve from the tournament’s first delivery off Shaun Pollock - a dropped catch at point - Gayle muscled his way through the bowlers with a feast of 11 sixes. A century - the first in T20I history - was born in 51 balls.
Gayle’s knock powered Windies to 205 for six. To his and WI’s surprise, however, the total proved insufficient as the Proteas whipped up the perfect response.
Gibbs, with measurable aid from skipper Graeme Smith and Justin Kemp, blasted the sloppy West Indies bowlers, who gave away 27 extras to ease the South African chase. Gibbs flourished with brutal boundaries (14 fours, 2 sixes) in his unbeaten 90 off 55 balls. South Africa wrapped up the match with 14 balls and eight wickets to spare as the first match in T20 World Cup history asserted the arrival of T20 cricket in style.
Scores: South Africa 208 for 2 (Gibbs 90*, Kemp 46*) beat West Indies 205 for 6 (Gayle 117, van der Wath 2-33) by eight wickets