Bangalore v Pune, IPL 2013, Bangalore April 23, 2013

Gayle 175* (66b), RCB win by 130


Royal Challengers Bangalore 263 for 5 (Gayle 175*) beat Pune Warriors 133 (Smith 41, Gayle 2-5) by 130 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Chris Gayle can shatter dreams. Ask Ishwar Pandey, the highest wicket-taker in this year's Ranji Trophy, who got smashed for 21 in his first over this IPL. Ask Mitchell Marsh, whose decent run with the ball this tournament was blown out of his memory, with his first over going for 28. Ask Aaron Finch, the third captain for Pune Warriors this season, who bowled an over hoping to restrict Gayle but didn't bowl again after being blasted for 29. Ask Ali Murtaza, a specialist left-arm spinner thrown into the deep end in his first game this season, only to be hammered for 45 in two overs.

The fastest hundred in T20 history was built on the misery of others, most notably a struggling franchise whose owners - they spent US$370 million to buy it - watched shell-shocked at their team's bowlers being taken apart with a ruthlessness only a game of Cricket '97 powered with cheat codes could have matched. After Gayle's onslaught, there was only going to be one result, and further confirmation of that arrived when four wickets fell inside the first six overs of the Warriors chase. Their defeat was the second-biggest in terms of runs in the IPL's six seasons.

The destruction inflicted on the Warriors bowlers broke a series of records. Gayle smashed the fastest century in the format, brought off 30 balls; made the highest individual T20 score (175 not out); struck the most sixes by a batsman in a T20 innings (17); helped Royal Challengers Bangalore hit the most sixes for a team in a T20 innings (21) and reach the highest total in T20 cricket (263).

The helplessness of the Warriors players was writ large on their faces. Luke Wright smiled with trepidation when Virat Kohli took a single to give Gayle the strike off his bowling, Yuvraj just shook his head as he watched one ball after another sail over the boundary rope and pretended to snatch Gayle's bat at the end of the innings as he went over to congratulate him.

The only interruption to Gayle's effort was a 33-minute rain interval. He had warmed up before that with two boundaries off Pandey, and proceeded to smack him for three more in the same over after the rain relented. Unlike some of his innings this season where he was relatively restrained at the start, he came out prepared to attack from the outset today. His previous innings, against Rajasthan Royals, was an unbeaten 49 off 44 balls during which he batted 17.5 overs.

It helped Gayle that Warriors bowled to him on a length, allowing him to hit through the line and straight, with minimum effort that masked the immense power behind his strokes that cleared the boundary with ease. Only one boundary out of the 30 to his name qualified as a mis-hit, an outside edge past short third man. At least two shots cleared the roof, the shot that brought up his century hit it and rebounded back into the lower tiers.

That Gayle was not going to hold himself back, having taken 29 off the fifth over from Marsh, was evident in his approach to spin when Murtaza was brought on in the seventh over. Gayle decided to target the spinner with the turn, slog-sweeping and then smashing him flat for two sixes, then making Finch regret the move to bring himself on, hammering him for four sixes, all on the on-side. A rare yorker outside off from Ashok Dinda that Gayle missed was perhaps the only moral victory he afforded Warriors before reaching his century, a landmark he celebrated with a punch of the gloves then kneeling down and raising his arms.

Murtaza may just have felt he could slip in a relatively quiet over when Gayle had mellowed down, somewhat, after reaching his ton, but Gayle demolished those thoughts. He punished Murtaza for three more sixes in a 28-run over, as Royal Challengers began another phase of domination in their innings after a moment's breather - the last six overs produced 85 runs.

Gayle's innings was supported ably by opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was part of a 167-run opening stand, an IPL record, during which he only made 33. He quickly ceded floor to Gayle and played some attractive, text-book shots through point and down the ground. Unlike Dilshan at the start, AB de Villiers was the dominant partner in Warriors' ruin at the death, thrashing 31 in just eight balls in a stand worth 44.

Each played their role in helping Gayle guide the innings, which he did with a big smile, good-hearted banter with the Warriors fielders during the carnage, and an animated reaction when he reached his century. He signed off in the match with a gangnam style gig at picking up two wickets in the only over he bowled - all a contrast to the man who made his first international appearance against India in Toronto in 1999, when it seemed hard to imagine a debutant as shy as him would one day become one of the most colourful characters on a cricket field.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harsh on April 27, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Chris Gayle looked like a military bomber destroying an airbase.I haven't seen even Viv Richards dominate opponents like Gayle on this day.He made every other player look like pawns on a chessboard.

  • Dummy4 on April 25, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    gayle is realy an outstanding player. he can destroy any bowler in the world but atleast not me..........

  • Nagaraj on April 25, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Guys, Do you Know Why Gayle didn't click for KKR and performing well for RCB? Why Y.Pathan Did so well for Rajastan royals and not performing for KKR?

    Out of all the matches in the tournament 50% matches are played at Home ground. So players total performance in the tournament basically(50%) depends on how home ground is supportive for the player.

    KKR (kolkatta) ground is known as slow track and players like Pathan and Gayle do not enjoy playing on slow track.

    Franchise owner be careful during auction buy a player who can perform well on your home ground, not by celebrity factor.

    I wish Gayle will be retained in RCB squad, Chinnaswamy stadium is perfect form him.

  • Dummy4 on April 25, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    Everyone is so busy saying gayle now holds the record for the highest individual score in T20 cricket.. Well, take a look at this fellas...

  • Jason on April 24, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Me like Chris Gayle... he good and could be a big name if he can keep this up he could play county cricket or for his country one day though time will tell as his score was good and big but put him up against Warne & Donald or Willis & Truman then we shall see if he is as good as he probably thinks I am not sure he is any good against pace, spin or medium pace bowlers that would give him a real test

  • Deepak on April 24, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    @BDforever - B.Kumar did bowl 7 balls to Gayle and conceded only 11 runs in those 7 deliveries.

  • Tariq on April 24, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Who said it stopped raining? Who said there was a 33 min rain delay? It was merely a slow drizzle. What followed was a thunderstorm of Gayle proportions. The heavens were full of large snow balls coming from all directions. Though the duration of the storm was short, those who witnessed it will NEVER forget it...

  • Vrithamani on April 24, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    Although I watched the game in awe, I must admit that Pune Warriors had their team composition completely messed up. If you look at the history as to how Gayle has been dismissed, he is vulnerable (if you can call it that!!) against OFF SPIN bowling. However, the Pue team did not have an off spinner in their side. If they had one, maybe, just maybe, they could have done better against the GAYLE-STORM!!

  • Deepak on April 24, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    Henceforth can a SIX be called GAYLE. Instead of a huge six, a huge Gayle over the long on boundary !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mohammed on April 24, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    @Roshanth Gardiarachchi : I have just googled for the exact fact and it seems that it was a district league match. Even though that match was of 20 overs but it doesn't get counted into actual Twenty20 which consists of leagues and international matches that get recorded.