An injury to AB De Villiers and Chris Gayle was given a chance to show he still has it – you know, that not-from-this-world ability to hit sixes and turn the bowlers into the mundane machines that just keep landing them in only for it to go past them in a flash and soar into the crowd.
With the great man from South Africa having to sit out owing to a "niggle", Gayle walked in at the top of the order with his captain Virat Kohli.
He started the game needing just three runs to become the first man to get to 10,000 runs in T20 cricket, and those first three runs were not trademark Gayle – they came off singles, and the big Jamaican is not someone who likes to waste too much time running between the wickets.
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Once he had that landmark locked in – not that he looked too bothered by it, because there wasn't any celebration or a raise of the bat – and he had gauged the nature of the wicket, it was take-off time for the big man.
The first of his seven sixes – of course he hit more maximums than fours, this is Chris Gayle we're talking about – came off Basil Thampi – a thump over mid-off, which landed flush on the boundary cushions.
Then game a four through the offside off Ravindra Jadeja, before that straight-hitting of his came into play again as this one landed over the ropes.
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Gayle's brilliant knock: Runs: 77. Balls: 38. Fours: 5. Sixes: 7. Strike rate: 202.63.
Fully warmed-up now and in that everything-is-going-out-of-the-ground zone, Gayle decided to attack Jadeja, who conceded 57 runs in his four overs, and what an attack it turned out to be.
Off the left-armer's third ball, Gayle thumped a four, before another boundary was hammered. Then came the big six, as Gayle picked one off the stumps and skied it over square-leg.
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The RCB opener was nearly out next ball as he flat batted a wide ball towards long-off, with Brendon McCullum taking a fantastic catch diving to his right. Unfortunately, for the Gujarat Lions, as McCullum landed, his hat, the round one, just touched the cushions and instead of a wicket, it was the second six of the over.
Gayle moved from 38 to 44 with that six, with just 19 balls needed for that score.
He would add 33 more, with Shivil Kaushik and Dwayne Smith also getting the full Gayle treatment – there was also a special celebration after he completed his hundred, with the West Indian bringing the king cobra celebration out.
Watch the brilliance of Gayle HERE
RCB were on course for well over 200 at this point, and it needed a brilliant delivery from the impressive Thampi to get the 37-year-old – a perfect yorker bowled at good pace.
Thanks to Gayle's brilliant innings, RCB, with Kohli (64, 50b, 7x4, 1x6), Travis Head (30 n.o., 16b, 2x4, 1x6) and Kedar Jadhav (38 n.o., 16b, 5x4, 2x6) also chipping in, got to 213/2 in their 20 overs against the Gujarat Lions.
It might not have been the 175, and Gayle has played a lot of better and more entertaining innings than this in the past in the IPL, but it was great to see the "Universe Boss" go slam-bang like only he can.
And just in case the Rajkot crowd weren't given enough of a dose of excitement, the other great IPL entertainer – Brendon McCullum – turned on the style for the Gujarat Lions.
This was a lone wolf innings as the rest of the GL batsmen around him, apart from a late flourish from Ishan Kishan (39, 16b, 2x4, 4x6), felt the pressure of the big chase, with only McCullum (72, 44b, 2x4, 7x6) looking capable of taking his team anywhere near the target.
The ease with which McCullum, and Gayle, hit their sixes and fours is always something to marvel at, and more of such innings please will be what everyone will be hoping for, for the rest of IPL 2017.
Gujarat Lions vs Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2017 scorecard:
Toss: GL won the toss and chose to bowl.
RCB: 213/2 in 20 overs.
Gujarat Lions: 192/7 in 20 overs.
Result: RCB won by 21 runs.
Bowling: Gujarat Lions: Dhawal Kulkarni 4-0-37-1; Basil Thampi 4-0-31-1; Andrew Tye 4-0-34-0; Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-57-0; Shivil Kaushik 3-0-36-0; Dwayne Smith 1-0-17-0.
RCB: Pawan Negi 4-0-21-1; Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-31-3; S Aravind 4-0-53-1; Adam Milne 4-0-43-1; Shane Watson 2-0-24-0; Travis Head 2-0-18-0.
Fall of wickets: RCB: 122/1, Chris Gayle (12.4 overs); 159/2, Virat Kohli (15.5 overs).
Gujarat Lions: 1/1, Dwayne Smith (1.2 overs); 37/2, Suresh Raina (4 overs); 103/3, Aaron Finch (9.4 overs); 106/4, Dinesh Karthik (11 overs); 137/5, Brendon McCullum (14.4 overs); 165/6, Ravindra Jadeja (17.4 overs); 191/7, Ishan Kishan (19.4 overs).