Chris Gayle, the swashbuckling Kings XI Punjab’s opener did not feature in the first seven games, but played against RCB at No. 3 batting position as his team KXIP won by eight wickets. The left hander did not feature in the first seven games as KXIP lost six and won only one.
Both their wins have come against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The move to play Chris Gayle after opening pair of in form batsmen and leading run scorers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal paid off as the dashing batsman scored 53 off 45 balls with one four and as many as five sixes.
Chris Gayle Is Dangerous Wherever He Bats: KL Rahul
KXIP won on the last ball as they successfully chased down target of 172 when Nicholas Pooran hit a six in the very first ball he faced which was also the last ball of the 20th over after Chris Gayle was run out in the penultimate delivery. KL Rahul won MOM for an unbeaten 61 off 49 balls while Mayank Agarwal scored 45 off 25 balls.
RCB scored 171/6 as apart from Virat Kohli’s 48, none of the other batsmen scored more than 25. Chris Morris scored an unbeaten 25 off eight balls as the last over by Mohammad Shami leaked 24 runs. He was topo expensive but picked two woickets. Murugan Ashwin also picked two wickets but conceded only 23 runs.
In reply KXIP lost only two wickets as Mohammed Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal were too expensive unlike Chris Morris and Navdeep Saini.
“Wherever he bats, he’s dangerous. He’s taken it up as a challenge as well. He’ll still be intimidating,” Rahul said.
Chris Gayle has now played 126 IPL matches accumulating 4537 runs averaging 41.25 with as many as 331 sixes and six centuries. Both number of sixes and centuries are the highest by any batsman in IPL history. He had also registered the highest individual score of 175 against defunct Pune Warriors India.
Chris Gayle Is Hungry Even At 41: KL Rahul
KL Raul mentioned that not selecting Chris Gayle in starting XI in first seven games was a tough call to take, but it kept ‘Universal Boss’ Chris Gayle eager to play in some matches and score runs as the lion inside him was hungry.
“He’s (Gayle) not been feeling well in the last couple of weeks. But, he is hungry even at 41. He always wanted to play from the first day. He was training hard, he wanted be out on the park. It was a tough call to make and not make him play. It’s important to keep the lion hungry,” Rahul said.
Speaking on the win, Rahul further said: “There are ups and downs and this has been the roller-coaster. We wanted this win to get some confidence in the group. It’s my first time as captain, for me it’s always about winning. The personal performances haven’t been on mind too much.
Still with the win, KXIP are at the bottom of the table with two wins and six losses having four points while RCB are placed 3rd with five matches won and only three lost having 10 points equaling with 2nd placed Mumbai Indians but behind in terms of less Net Run Rate.