IPL history: Top 3 knocks by Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle is one of the first names that come to mind when we talk about T20 cricket. The big West Indian is by a distance the highest run-getter in the history of T20s.
There are very few records that Gayle hasn’t broken in the shortest format, and a lot of the records have come in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Over the years, with the way he’s played, he has become an IPL phenomenon.
He started off with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the first three seasons but didn’t have a great run there. He went unsold in the 2011 auctions but an injury to Dirk Nannes opened the door for him. That injury to Nannes changed the way the world looked at Gayle.
He was drafted in as a replacement in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) side and he kicked things off with a superb ton against his former team (KKR). He never looked back from there, and had a strong relationship with the Bangalore-franchise for seven years.
Gayle scored over 3000 runs for RCB at an average in excess of 43 which included five hundreds. The big Jamaican won the Orange Cap twice and was one of the shining lights for RCB throughout his tenure.
However, poor form in the 2016 and 2017 seasons meant RCB didn’t retain him and he was bought by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at his base price of 2 crore. He had a decent season with them, scoring 368 runs which included 3 fifties and a hundred.
With IPL 2019 coming up, now is as good a time as any to look back at some of his best knocks in the history of the tournament. Here are three of the many fabulous knocks the ‘Universe Boss’ has played in the IPL.
#3 104* (Kings XI Punjab) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – 2018
In 2016 and 2017, Gayle had the two worst IPL seasons of his career. He had averaged under 25 in a season only once in his IPL career (2014) before, but in these two seasons collectively he managed just 447 runs in 19 innings. Hence, RCB decided to let him go.
In the 2018 auctions, Gayle went unsold twice before he was finally picked up by KXIP in the last round. He didn’t play the first couple of games, but announced himself in style as he blasted a 33-ball 63 in his first game of the season.
It was the next game that showed just how high Gayle could soar. He struck a fabulous unbeaten 104 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, who were labelled as the best bowling side of the season.
Gayle struck 11 sixes en-route to his sixth IPL century. In fact, he took every SRH bowler to the cleaners and Rashid Khan, in particular, got a massive beating. Rashid has been one of the best T20 bowlers for a while now and is currently the No. 1 T20I bowler in the ICC rankings, but Gayle smashed him for 41 runs in 16 balls.
After two very quiet seasons, Gayle had silenced his critics in style. His unbeaten 104 helped KXIP win the game by 15 runs.