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If you are a bowler. Run for your life. Chris Gayle has a helmet on.
The rain gods probably heard that, and came to the fielding team’s rescue when Royal Challengers Bangalore were at 11/0. Gayle had just struck two fours. They left soon, for another storm was coming. With the bat.
They would miss the sixes, all seventeen of them.
Six no.1 came off Mitchell Marsh. Gayle stood with his broad shoulders, front foot out of the way, and the bat in the air like always, muscling the ball over the long on fence. The man’s stand and deliver stance was in record-breaking mode. So much so, that by the end of over, 28 runs had been milked, courtesy four sixes and a four. Chris Gayle had brought up his fifty.
It was only the fifth over of the match.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away only a wide, to restore some amount of sanity. But that was because Tillakaratne Dilshan was batting. Pune brought the spinners on, in the hope that they could force a mistake out of the big man at the other end. Slower deliveries, arm balls do tempt the best in the business into going for the wild hoik. Out they would go. Right?
Wrong. As Ali Murtaza and Aaron Finch were carted all over the ground. Finch was smashed for 29 and he wisely took himself off the attack. But that wasn’t going to stop Gayle from taking his left foot off the gas. The West Indian had raced to 95, and when he was offered the strike, smashed a full toss from Dinda to bring up his hundred off just thirty balls. The fastest ton in T20 history, going past Andrew Symonds, who brought up his triple figures off 34 deliveries for Kent in 2004.
Gayle removed his helmet, revealing a black bandana. On his knees, soaking in the applause. He wasn’t going anywhere. Balls were hitting the roof, and had to be replaced.
Dilshan managed to get a little more strike, but fell to Wright for 33. Nobody knew why Pune were celebrating. Murtaza came back to bowl in over No.14, only to be smashed for 28 runs, with Chris Gayle bringing up his 150, with a six off the sixth ball of the over. Virat Kohli gave him the rocking chair tribute, but wouldn’t hang around till the end, after being run out for 11.
AB de Villiers then joined Gayle, and the duo continued the run riot, with Marsh again being singled out for special treatment. Royal Challengers Bangalore would go on to finish with 263/5, the highest-ever in any T20 match. Gayle would remain unbeaten on 175-the highest individual score in T20 cricket. What could have Pune done?
Very little. There is nothing one can do to stop Chris Gayle when he gets going, and that is something that everybody knows. But when the man with the most famous dreadlocks in cricket, smashes seventeen sixes and thirteen fours, you know that he is taking it to another level all together. Little did Pune Warriors skipper Aaron Finch know that his decision to win the toss, and bowl first, would be the start of the end.
His bowlers would have been better off bowling wides. So much so that when they came out to chase, they ended up making 133/9. 11 batsmen making 42 runs less than what one man- Chris Gayle, managed all by himself. The only Pune Warriors player who crossed fifty was Mitchell Marsh.
56 to be precise. But that didn’t come off the bat. Bangalore won by 130 runs. Not too sure if we needed to mention that. It was a match between Chris Gayle and the Pune Warriors.
Beamer: Chrisix Gayle!
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