Chris Gayle returned to play cricket for the first time since January and showed why he is regarded highly in the shortest format of the game. KXIP opened with their set combination of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal as they once again gave the side a good start before Gayle stepped in.
Gayle build up his innings slowly as he scored 22 runs of the first 23 deliveries before beginning a late flourish to put the game to bed. Gayle smashed 53 runs off 45 deliveries laced with four boundaries and three hits over the fence before being run out. But his important stand with KL Rahul was enough to help KXIP clinch victory after a final over drama.
When Chris Gayle is batting, you can always win the game: Nicholas Pooran
Young West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran looks up to Gayle. He said the Gayle is the greatest T20 batsman for him, adding, that when he plays it looks like the team has a chance of winning the game and the mood is different in the camp.
“To me, he is the greatest T20 player. When Chris is batting, you always feel you have a chance of winning the game. Once he is there, it’s a different mood in the camp. We, as a batsman, would want someone like him in the middle,” Pooran told Mayank Agarwal during a post-match show for IPLT20.com.
“He started slowly, which is acceptable because he has played cricket in a long while. He has shown once more why he is the greatest T20 batsman. It’s wonderful to see him get runs.”
Gayle is one of the cleanest hitters off the ball and when his bat does the talking he is hard to be stopped. The veteran has established himself as a powerful striker of the ball not only for his national team but also in franchise leagues across the world.
Today, there is hardly any league left, where Gayle has not made his presence felt.