Chris Gayle finally struck some form, as his brutal innings of 77 coming off just 38 deliveries took the Gujarat Lions by storm. The West Indian opener, who hadn’t been in the best of form with the bat since quite a while now, looked flawless out in the middle and with his match-winning innings, made a strong statement as well.
Thanks to Gayle going after the bowlers right from the offset, skipper Virat Kohli was able to play his natural game quite well and he too enjoyed with a fine half century.
Needing 214 to win, the Lions fell short by 21 runs, as Brendon McCullum gave his best shot with a classy knock of 72. Young Indian batsman Ishan Kishan impressed one and all with his clean strikes, as he entertained with his knock of 39 off 16 deliveries.
Post the game, Kohli lauded Gayle and called him the most dangerous T20 player.
“Gayle took his opportunity beautifully. If he bats like that, it allows me to play through the innings and then accelerate late. We were about 30 runs above par and that exactly was the case,” said Kohli. “Chris took the initiative and anything in his arc was out of the park. He’s the most dangerous T20 player around.”
Lauding the courage of spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, Kohli said,
“Chahal is the wrist spinner, he’s always in the game, but Negi was outstanding. Beautiful bowling by him. Not many people were believing in his abilities but he’s come back well. The plus point with Chahal is that he’s not scared. He’s never shy to get hit for runs. He sometimes will get hit but will get you wickets too. On good wickets, you need bowlers who can step up.”
Chris Gayle was named the Man of the Match and the Universe Boss was ecstatic on getting back to form.
“It’s good to be among the runs,” said Gayle. “It’s even better to be back on the field. Fans want entertainment, and I am glad I am able to do that. It all depends on how you feel. A determination is very important. To achieve 10000 runs is a special achievement and to pull it off in a win even better.”
“A lot of guys have pointed a few things about my batting stance when I scored that 175. Even Shaun Pollock from South Africa sent me a few pictures of my stance. Guys back home also mentioned it. You are never too old to learn. Eventually, it paid off in the form of runs. People are still looking out for Chris Gayle; it feels fantastic,” the southpaw added.