Written by Staff Writer
07 May, 2015 | 8:02 am
Never before in the history of the Indian Premier League, has any captain even contemplated dropping Chris Gayle from their side. That happened this season twice. Poor form and a flawed back had rendered the Jamaican ineffective. Back for a crucial match against Kings XI Punjab, Gayle hammered his fifth IPL hundred, off 46 balls.
Gayle’s ruthless 117 off 57 balls powered RCB to 226/3 and marked his return-to-form. The burly batsman thanked his fans and friends for their constant support through a tough phase. “I am really happy to get a hundred and give the team that kind of start and I’m really glad I entertained the fans,” Gayle said after his knock.
“I appreciate the support on twitter. Good guys and friends. It was a fantastic wicket. They bowled really well, until the 14th over, they bowled some good yorkers. I thought they pulled it back.
“I missed the last game, spent the day in bed, so I was fresh. I’m a Christiano Ronaldo fan and I told them if I got a hundred, I’d celebrate like him.”
After his swashbuckling 96 against Kolkata Knight Riders earlier this season, Gayle struggled to score runs and Virat Kohli made the bold decision to sit him out. But tonight, he was destined to make KXIP pay; he was in such mood.
Gayle admitted his back injury had been aggravated thanks to the hectic travel itinerary. But the left-handed batsman, who has the highest IPL score to his credit made a promise: “Hopefully today I can entertain the fans. They’re tremendous.” And he delivered on that with characteristic brutality.
After a watchful start against Sandeep Sharma, Gayle tore into Mitchell Johnson, smashing him for two fours and two sixes in the second over. Sandeep received the same treatment in the next over and the dam had burst. Kohli, his opening partner, joined in and the Kings XI bowlers had nowhere to hide at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Gayle had said before the start of the match, that it has been a quiet IPL. As the ball kept flying into the stand time and again, Bangalore celebrated an early Diwali. The old, mean and dangerous Gayle was back in business. He now hopes that the IPL after-parties are back in town. Tonight could be one big party.
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