What does one say about Chris Gayle’s bedazzling innings against Pune Warriors at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore? Words cannot be enough to describe the knock. Just try and figure this out – he faced 66 balls, slammed 13 fours and 17 sixes, raced to his hundred off 30 deliveries, maintained a strike rate of 265 and ended up unbeaten on an unbelievable 175. Those who did not follow the knock can only imagine the destruction that had been caused by the Windies opener. Here’s a recap of the sensational knock for you.
Over 2: 21 runs
Ishwar Pandey, who was the highest wicket-taker this Ranji season, got a taste of what international cricket feels like. Gayle blasted him for five fours including one off a free hit, as Bangalore kick-started their innings with a bang.
Over 5: 28 runs
The young medium pacer from Australia, Mitchell Marsh, was given the fifth over of the innings, and ended up bowling the most expensive over of this year’s edition till then. Gayle smashed four sixes and a boundary in the over. The first ball was hit over longon, the second was scooped over extra cover, while the last two balls were deposited straight into the sightscreen, the latter six bringing up his 50 off 17 balls.
Over 7: 18 runs
It was left-arm spinner Ali Murtaza’s turn to receive club-class treatment. The over began by Gayle edging a boundary to short third man. He then slogged a six over deep midwicket and a couple of balls later another one over long-on.
Over 8: 29 runs
Skipper Aaron Finch, who was running out of ideas, brought himself on. The result – it became the most expensive over of IPL 2013, beating the 28 conceded by Marsh. Gayle smashed two sixes over deep midwicket and two over long-on and, in between, scooped one for a four.
Gayle brought up his 100 off 30 balls with a full toss off Ashok Dinda in the 9th over, which he deposited straight out of the ground. To make matters worse, it was a free hit as well.
Over 15: 28 runs
In spite of a failed first over, Murtaza got a second chance, and this time Gayle completely took him to the cleaners. The left-hander slapped the unassuming bowler for two sixes over deep midwicket and one over long-on. He also crashed Murtaza for fours through long-off and extra cover. Murtaza’s two overs cost him 45!
Over 18: 15 runs
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the best bowler on show, conceding only 23 in his four overs, 15 off them came in one of them. He overtook McCullum’s 158 by pulling Kumar over deep midwicket for four and then thrashing another boundary through long-off.
Over 20: 10 runs
19 runs came off the penultimate over, but most of them were scored by AB de Villiers. Dinda bowled the last over, and Gayle began with a bang, blasting the first ball for six over long-off. Courtesy Gayle’s magnificence, Bangalore ended at 263 for 5. End of the contest!
--By A Cricket Analyst