Chris Gayle is back with a bang in the Indian Premier League and has already started the destruction since playing his debut game for his new franchise the Kings XI Punjab. After running havoc yet again at KXIP’s den in Mohali against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Gayle who became the first centurion of the IPL 2018 had one man to thank to, Virender Sehwag who showed trust in him and roped in him at the last minute after he went unsold twice in the player auction earlier this year.
The West Indies powerhouse was at his brutal best as he dispatched the SRH bowlers all around the park, thrashing them for 11 sixes and a boundary in his quickfire 104 in 63 balls. Revealing about the help he had received from Kings XI Punjab mentor Sehwag since joining the franchise Gayle credited the former Indian cricketer and thanked him for ‘saving’ the IPL by buying him. “I’m always determined,” Gayle said at the post-match presentation. “A lot of people might say that Chris has a lot to prove [as he] didn’t get selected or didn’t get picked earlier in the auction. But I can say, Virender Sehwag, you saved IPL by picking me,” he added.
Gayle had got into his grove from his debut match that he played against the Chennai Super Kings by smashing a quick fire 63 which put Kings XI Punjab in a comfortable position to win the game, he carried the good form into the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad and went absolutely bonkers. The Jamaican explosive right-hander took on the likes of Rashid Khan and Siddarth Kaul and proved that age is just a number when it comes to his attacking prowess. After bagging his 6th IPL century, the first of the season, Gayle said he aims to outperform Sehwag’s expectations from him.
“This is a brilliant start. Man-of-the-match, back-to-back. Viru said in an interview if Chris Gayle can win in two games, he thinks he’s got his money’s worth. I’d like to have another word with Viru.” Unlike his usual style of going all out attack on the opposition bowlers, Gayle was far more calculated in his spectacular innings against Sunrisers and converted the ones into twos while increasing his effectiveness between the wickets.
Kings XI Punjab continued their winning momentum with a 15 runs victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad to grab the second spot on the table. With Gayle, Karun Nair too played a useful cameo of 31 runs in 21 balls to contribute well with the bat and take KXIP to a massive 193 in 20 overs. Kane Williamson 54 and Manish Pandey 57 tried their best to make it a successful chase for SRH but failed to save their unbeaten streak.