Chris Gayle has smashed the equal fastest half-century in Twenty20 cricket history as his Melbourne Renegades' Big Bash League campaign came to an end with a 27-run loss to the Adelaide Strikers.
Gayle saved his best for last with the stunning 51 runs off just 12 balls on Monday night, the West Indian star slamming seven sixes - four in a row off the first over of his side's innings at Etihad Stadium - to equal the record set by India's Yuvraj Singh in 2007 against England, in Durban.
Gayle was dismissed, caught behind by Tim Ludeman off the bowling of Travis Head, for 56 off just 17 balls at a strike rate of 329.41.
Needing to chase down Adelaide's target of 171 in 16 overs to qualify for the semi-finals, Gayle set the tone with four straight sixes from Greg West's opening over.
Ben Laughlin wasn't spared either, with his no-ball full toss clearing the fence - as did the subsequent free hit.
Brad Hodge's decision to bring on part-time spinner Travis Head looked ill-advised when Gayle cleared the rope with the first ball of his over for his seventh six and a place alongside Yuvraj in the record books.
"It was unbelievable," Renegades skipper Cameron White said.
"It was great - it was unreal. You just sit there and watch it go over your head and wait for him to hit the next one.
"He's done it around the world so it was no surprise. I've been on the receiving end playing for Australia against the West Indies and I've seen it in the (Indian Premier League) numerous times.
"It wasn't the right result for us tonight but the fans would have had a good game to watch I would imagine."
Gayle bludgeoned seven sixes and a four from the first 12 balls he faced in a sequence that went 2, no run, 6, 6, 6, 6, 2, 6, 6, 4, 1, 6 and ended with him on 51 runs.
It was Gayle's highest score of a controversial first season with the Renegades.
The 36-year-old's infamous sideline interview with Channel Ten journalist Mel McLaughlin led to calls for him to not be invited back to take part in BBL06 but White is hopeful he will be offered another opportunity with Renegades.
"Yeah, I think so, (but) that decision has got nothing to do with me really - it's the captain (Aaron Finch), the coach and the list manager," he said.
Gayle declined a Network Ten request for an interview immediately after his record knock and was unavailable to speak to journalists after the match.