- Gayle scored 104 not out off 63 balls, containing 11 sixes and one four.
- Gayle showed why he has taken the initial lack of interest of franchises to his heart.
- With two eye-popping innings in a row for KXIP, Gayle has reminded his critics that he still has plenty of gas in the tank.
On Thursday night at Mohali’s PCA Stadium, the leading run-scorer in Twenty20 cricket lit up the IPL with the first century of season 11 – and it was an innings that rolled back the years. Chris Gayle, at the age of 38, slammed an unbeaten 104 off 63 deliveries to set up Kings XI Punjab‘s third win of the season, and later when accepting the Man-of-the-Match award, thanked his new franchise’s director of cricket operations Virender Sehwag for “saving the IPL”.
For the uninitiated, Gayle had been discharged by Royal Challengers Bangalore – who with 3420 keeps running from 91 matches remains at second in their untouched table – before January’s IPL player closeout, and on the very first moment of the bartering had gone unsold. On the second day, KXIP made an offer for him and got the record-setting Jamaican at his base cost of Rs 2 crore. He didn’t play KXIP’s initial two matches of IPL 11, yet when he got a possibility in the third one he made a prompt check with 63 off 33 balls.
And he gave credit, in his inimitable laid-back style, to a fellow maverick batsman who like Gayle revolutionised cricket. “I think Virender Sehwag saved the IPL by picking me (in the January auctions),” said Gayle with a big smile.