Twenty20 records were shattered at Uxbridge on Sunday June 26 when both Hamish Marshall and Kevin O’Brien struck hundreds for Gloucestershire against Middlesex in the Friends Life t20, as the visitors posted a mammoth total of 254 for 3.
Indeed, before the game only two Gloucestershire batsmen had previously scored a hundred in the domestic Twenty20 competition, with the most recent being posted in 2007.
But, at Uxbridge, O’Brien and Marshall each posted vibrant hundreds as for the first time in the history of Twenty20 cricket two batsmen scored a hundred in the same innings.
Gloucestershire – who began the day languishing at the foot of the table – beat the competition’s previous record total of 250 for 3, set by Somerset, ironically against their West Country neighbours at Taunton in 2006.
O’Brien, who last winter posted the fastest hundred in World Cup history for Ireland against England, struck a stunning 44-ball century and benefitted from being dropped on 14 and 33 as the Middlesex fielders fumbled early chances.
At the other end, Marshall struck 102 off 54 deliveries as the pair added a record 192 for the first wicket. This partnership was the highest in Twenty20 cricket, beating the previous domestic record of 175 by Vikram Solanki and Graeme Hick for Worcestershire against Northamptonshire at Kidderminster in 2007, and bettered only by the 206 added by the Australian duo of Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh for Kings XI Punjab against Royal Challengers Bangalore in this year’s Indian Premier League.
O’Brien eventually holed out at long on having bludgeoned 11 sixes and 7 fours from 52 balls, whilst Marshall departed for 102 with 11 fours and 4 sixes. Their efforts took Gloucestershire to within six runs of the global record of 260 for 6 set by Sri Lanka against Kenya at Johannesburg in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20.
In all, 16 sixes were struck in the Gladiators innings, a total falling just one short of the domestic record of 17 set by Essex against Sussex at Chelmsford in 2008 – 16 of which were struck by Graham Napier who remains the only man to have struck more sixes in an innings in domestic Twenty20 cricket than O’Brien.