Chris Gayle's best IPL moments that don't fade away
Amongst all the foreign players in the IPL, Chris Gayle is the most adored. He has a cult following in India, and most people in the country treat him as their very own. Royal Challengers Bangalore followers never even drop him from their fantasy teams!
And there is a reason for all of that. Gayle produces scintillating knocks out of nowhere, almost at will. Monster hits, nonchalant shots, colossal sixes – when Gayle hits them, the opposition bowlers are reduced to a mockery.
Over the years, the Jamaican has given the fans some great spectacles, especially in the T20 format. His big innings can never be forgotten by anyone who has seen them; he literally creates memories that don’t fade away, much like the Axe Signature range.
Gayle has five IPL centuries to go with his 18 half-centuries, which displays an astounding consistency given his risk-taking tendencies. Between 2011 and 2013 he got four centuries and 14 half-centuries; it was an otherworldly vein of form, when his lowest season strike-rate was 156.
After a bad 2014 and a bad start to 2015 Gayle is back in prime form, and how. Here we take a look at the three most memorable IPL moments he has crafted over the years.
175* against Pune Warriors at Bangalore, 2013
This will easily make it to the top three T20 knocks of all time. It was the sheer brutality that will stay forever in the fans’ memories. There were innumerable records broken that day as Gayle took apart the Pune Warriors with a scintillating display of stroke-play. In a knock where he registered the fastest 50, fastest 100 and fastest 150 in the IPL, Gayle showed there was nothing impossible when he has the bat in his hand.
His 66-ball 175, that broke Brendon McCullum’s long standing record of the highest individual score, had 17 sixes – the most in T20 cricket. His century off 30 balls is the fastest recorded ton in all professional cricket. He propelled RCB to a mammoth score of 263 for five, a total that is sometimes not easily reached even in the modern ODI game. Bowlers like Ishwar Pandey, Mitchell Marsh and Aaron Finch were demolished, as they were tonked for 21, 28 and 29-run overs respectively.
Not an innings anyone will forget in a hurry!
128* against Delhi Daredevils at Delhi, 2012
Virat Kohli smashed 73 off just 53 balls in a game where RCB posted a target of 215. However, that innings looked drab when put in perspective as Kohli was batting with Chris Gayle on the other end. Gayle’s 128 came off just 62 balls, at a strike rate of 206. He hit just seven fours, but smashed 13 sixes as the the Delhi bowlers ran for cover.
Irfan Pathan went for three sixes in a single over, with one of them being 109 metres long. Pawan Negi went for three consecutive sixes in a 22-run over. Umesh Yadav, one of India’s fastest bowlers, went for two consecutive sixes.
Gayle helped RCB smash 136 in the second half of the innings.
Interestingly, the Jamaican had gotten off to a slow start, scoring just 10 in his first 17 balls. The next 24 balls, however, he scored 49. And in his final 21 balls, he smashed as many as 69 runs! He was truly a bowler’s as well as a captain’s worst nightmare that day.
117 against Kings XI Punjab at Bangalore, 2015
You shouldn’t drop Chris Gayle if you get a chance. Gayle will make you pay for your mistakes, a payment so high it becomes T20 history. And Kings XI Punjab dropped him twice. Need we say any more?
Gayle woke up from his slumber in IPL-8, a season when he was dropped for a few matches from the RCB team, with a scintillating knock of 117 in just 57 balls. In his trademark style, he smashed seven fours and 12 sixes – more sixes than fours – and his innings strike rate was over 200 (205.26 to be precise).
Most impressively though, Gayle smashed one of the most feared bowlers of the world, Mitchell Johnson like he was a club cricketer – two sixes and two fours in a 20 run over. And Sandeep Sharma, one of the most economical bowlers this IPL season, went for 24 the next over.
Gayle reached his 50 in just 22 balls, and it could have come even quicker had one of his previous hits not hit a cable on the ground, resulting in the delivery being declared a dead ball. The sixes kept coming though, cable or no cable, as Gayle made it to his century in just 48 balls. KXIP were stunned so badly, they never recovered.
It was certainly an innings to remember by Gayle, like so many of his earlier whirlwind knocks!