The owners of Kings XI Punjab would be pretty relieved with the fact that their decision to buy Chris Gayle in the 3rd round of the IPL Auctions is playing off rich dividends.
Gayle who was not included in the playing XI for the first two matches had made a sensational start with his new franchise. He had already bagged a couple of Man of the Match Awards in the two games.
Punjab was up against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday night. It was Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin who won the toss and elected to bat. The Universal Boss and KL Rahul walked out in the middle to begin proceedings.
It was a carnage on display by the southpaw, as he smashed as many as 11 sixes and a four during his blistering knock of 104 off just 63 deliveries.
The swashbuckler targeted the No one spinner in the world, Rashid Khan. He took him to the cleaners with four consecutive sixes in the over. He couldn’t even time a couple of deliveries, but his power allowed the ball to fly over the fence. Gayle reached his 6th IPL century in the penultimate over. It was also his 21st T20 century overall.
Courtesy his knock; he was also adjudged the Player of the Match. In the presentation ceremony, Gayle said Virender Sehwag might have saved the IPL by including him.
“I think Virender Sehwag has saved IPL by picking me. This is a brilliant start. Viru said in an interview that if Chris Gayle can win us two games, we have got our money’s worth. I’d like to have another word with Viru and see what happens from thereon. Overall, happy with the win and now (time to) move on to Kolkata. It all depends on the mood and conditions are also tricky as well. Playing so many years in India, I know what the conditions are like. I am glad to get a hundred today,” Gayle said.
Gayle’s opening partner, KL Rahul was in awe of the big man following his knock. Taking to his twitter handle, he shared a photo with Gayle with a caption,
“Told Y’all this man is Bad News for all of you. Universe Boss for a Reason! Top Knock @henrygayle, Many more!!”
Meanwhile, the Punjab bowlers then made sure the Hyderabad outfit couldn’t get off to a flying start.
With the injury suffered to Shikhar Dhawan, Hyderabad might be in a huge dilemma from the next match onwards. They eventually managed to score 178/4 in their allotted 20 overs, thus handing Punjab a 17 runs victory.