Chris Gayle Image Credit: AFP

Melbourne: West Indies batsman Chris Gayle smashed fifty from 12 balls for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League on Monday to match India’s Yuvraj Singh’s record for the fastest half-century in Twenty20 cricket.

Left-hander Yuvraj achieved the feat against England in a group match at the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007 in South Africa, smashing fast bowler Stuart Broad for six sixes in one over.

Opening batsman Gayle plundered 21-year-old Adelaide Strikers bowler Greg West, playing his second T20 match, for 27 runs in the first over and hit the last four deliveries for six.

His seventh maximum took Gayle past his half-century as he deposited spinner Travis Head over the long-on boundary. Head dismissed him five deliveries later for a 17-ball 56 with Gayle caught by wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman from a top edge.

Gayle also holds the record for the fastest Twenty20 ton. He achieved the feat during the 2013 Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore, reaching the triple-figure mark in just 30 balls against Pune Warriors.

The Jamaican is also the holder of the record for fastest double hundred in ODIs. He scored a double ton off just 138 balls against Zimbabwe in the 2015 World Cup.

Gayle courted controversy recently for an interview with Channel 10 jounalist Mel McLaughlin during a Big Bash League match between Melbourne Renegades and Hobart Hurricanes in Hobart.

Gayle said he was happy to be interviewed by McLaughlin “just to see your eyes for the first time” during his sides’ win over the Hobart Hurricanes. “Nice, so hopefully we can win this game and we can have a drink after,” he had said.

“Don’t blush baby,” the Jamaican added, prompting McLaughlin to shake her head and reply, “I’m not blushing.”

Gayle later apologised for his offence, saying it was a “simple joke”.