From Neil Drysdale (Herald Scotland)
Scotland's Ryan Watson has predicted that Chris Gayle's record-breaking 100 in the Indian Premier League might never be surpassed.
Watson, who powered his way to a 43-ball century against Somerset in 2003, admitted he was astonished by the fashion in which Gayle smashed 13 4s and 17 6s for the Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors during his unprecedented knock of 175 not out – with the first 100 coming from only 30 deliveries.
"No ground in the world is big enough for Chris when he is in the mood, but even so, this is something remarkable and I wonder whether it will ever be bettered," said Watson, the former Scotland captain, who is now turning out for Glenrothes and will kick off his 2013 campaign when the Fifers tackle Aberdeenshire at Mannofield in the Scottish Cup on Saturday.
"Bats are bigger these days and boundaries tend to be shorter and, in a competition such as the IPL, things can get away from bowling sides very quickly.
"But, all the same, to score at more than three runs a ball in getting to a century, and hitting so many 6s in such a short period is really quite extraordinary.
"I wouldn't think anybody would be able to get past him for a long, long while.
"He hasn't just beaten the previous record [of 34 set by Australia's Andrew Symonds in 2004], he has demolished it, and the crowd who were there will probably never forget his innings."
Watson admitted that he was not expecting to replicate the West Indian maestro's exploits in the Granite City, not least because of the conditions.
"I am not expecting too much, since it will be the first match I have played, but I wouldadd that I doubt if even Chris Gayle could hit 100 in 30 balls in Scotland on the pitches at this time of year," admitted Watson.
"However, on those fast Indian wickets, he has shown that almost anything is possible and it is great for the game of cricket to have people like him."
Gayle's 30-ball century eclipsed the 34-ball hundred scored by for Kent against Middlesex in 2004.
The left-hander also posted the highest individual score in a Twenty20 game, going past the New Zealander Brendon McCullum's score of 158.
The flamboyant Pakistani Shahid Afridi holds the record for the fastest international century in the 50-over format (37 balls) and the South African Richard Levi (45 balls) has made the quickest international T20 hundred.