Chris Gayle was at his entertaining best after helping the Punjab Kings to a nine-wicket win over Mumbai Indians on Friday. The southpaw, who was ecstatic to be praised over his running between the wickets, explained how he has been keeping himself fit this season.
The sticky Chepauk track prompted a change of strategy from Chris Gayle, who played a gritty knock against MI. His steady innings of 35-ball 43* saw him run hard between the wickets, with boundaries at a premium on the tricky batting surface.
After the match, Gayle chatted with his PBKS teammate Arshdeep Singh and stated that he enjoyed taking quick ones and twos.
“Yeah, I was looking pretty good huh! It was pretty good running between the wickets. Feeling fit, I am in good shape. I am enjoying it, looking after my body, looking after myself. Getting a lot of massages, so I can move freely. The humidity here in Chennai kind of lets the blood flow. I am on top of my game,” Gayle claimed.
Chris Gayle came out to bat in the eighth over after KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal had given PBKS a solid start in their chase of 132. The duo negotiated the conditions brilliantly, with their 79-run partnership being the backbone of PBKS’ match-winning chase.
KL Rahul was awarded the Man of the Match award for his crafty 60*, and Chris Gayle was pleased with how the PBKS batsmen fared against MI.
“The captain played a fantastic innings. We always say we need a set batter on this wicket. To finish the game I thought he did a brilliant job from a batting point of view. Mayank and the captain set the tone and made it a bit easier. But the wicket wasn’t that easy to bat on, but we pulled through and we are very happy,” Gayle said.
The win puts PBKS level on points with defending champions MI and it also broke their three-game losing run. Gayle admitted he was happy to take his team over the line on Friday.
“I am feeling very good. A bit relieved, to be honest with you. We wanted this win badly. Playing against the defending champions was always going to be tough. They have played four games here already, glad to get this win it is fantastic for the team and the Universe Boss as well!” added Chris Gayle.
Chris Gayle credits the PBKS bowlers for the win over MI
While the PBKS batters wrapped up the chase inside 18 overs, it was the bowlers who set up the win for Punjab. An all-round bowling effort saw the Punjab Kings peg back the Mumbai Indians from the start, with the defending champions limping to 131/6.
Ravi Bishnoi (2/21) was at the top of his game in his first appearance of the season, while Mohammed Shami (2/21) was lethal at the death. With Deepak Hooda and Arshdeep Singh chipping in with crucial wickets as well, Chris Gayle was quick to acknowledge the architects of the win.
“Credit goes to you guys (the bowlers). You guys bowled extremely well. Even Shami in the back end. Bishu (Ravi Bishnoi) playing his first game, bowled a magnificent spell. Playing against a legend like Rohit Sharma, he batted beautifully on this wicket. But Bishu after coming in, controlled the middle-overs for us. You guys set the tone, and Shami finished off very very well for us,” concluded Chris Gayle.
The Punjab Kings will now jet off to Ahmedabad, where they play their next four games. The first of those fixtures is against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday.