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

Gayle, Gangnam and mayhem

Plays of the day from the 31st game of the IPL, between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors in Bangalore
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The interaction

Moments after the rain interruption, as the players were heading back to the pavilion, Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh exchanged high-fives, at a time when the game was pretty much on even terms with less than two overs bowled. At the end of the innings, Yuvraj and Gayle met again, those high-fives making way for a hand-shake and Yuvraj, in good spirit, pretending to snatch the bat off Gayle's hand, his own way of congratulating him for a spending century.

A rare moral victory

A pitch-map of the Pune Warriors bowling will show spells replete with length balls and full tosses but Ashok Dinda earned them some respect with a couple of yorkers to Gayle, shortly before he reached his century. Amid the spate of sixes, Gayle was forced to smile in acknowledgement of a rare good delivery when he failed to dig one out outside off. He faced another yorker in the same over, that he managed to get his bat to but it turned out to be a no-ball. Normal service resumed when Dinda bowled a full toss off the free hit, to be smashed straight into the roof.

The flat hit

A stand-out shot in Gayle's innings was the flat six he hit off Ali Murtaza in the seventh over. It was bowled on middle and leg and Gayle, with a turn of the wrists, dispatched it over the deep midwicket boundary. It didn't have much elevation but was struck fiercely, and disappeared so quickly over the ropes on the on-side that the TV cameras failed to keep pace with it.

The short-lived hope

When Luke Wright had Tillakaratne Dilshan caught in the deep after an opening stand of 167, he still retained hopes of a fightback, clapping his hands vigorously and encouraging his fielders. Whatever hopes he may have had were destroyed in the next over, when Gayle resumed his attack by thrashing Murtaza for 29 more.

The nail in the coffin

Gayle was a livewire in the field as well. He pulled off a superb one-handed stop at point to save a boundary early in the Warriors chase, then had a ball when Virat Kohli handed him the ball for the final over. There was no retribution, only further misery, for Murtaza, as Gayle had him stumped, and celebrated with his famous gangnam style dance. Ishwar Pandey, whom he had struck for five fours in his first over this season, was bowled two balls later. Gayle promised a finishing move prior to the final ball, his thumb sliding across his neck to indicate another wicket, but that wasn't to happen as Dinda kept out the full delivery.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SebV on April 25, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    @Noel-Kalicharan - Sorry to spoil your stat-wonderland, but Gayle reached hit a 6 when he was on 96. His score after 30 balls was 102, SR 340. "A 30-ball century is a strike rate of 333" - don't think it's right to calculate the SR at the century mark. @MrSlickJerk - Any one (read Dinda) who bowls full tosses or length balls time and time again is not a good bowler. Ali Murtaza was terrible, and so were Finch & Marsh. So yeah, Warriors without Rahul Sharma & Wayne Parnell are not a good bowling unit.

  • Haleos on April 25, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    @ MrSlickJerk - well said. Even superstar bowlers like afridi, gul, ajmal and co go for loads of runs sometimes. Even the best Steyn is not spared once in a while.

  • Haleos on April 25, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    @ S.h.a.d.a.b - we will see how good ur bowlers are in the champions trophy against Gayle. Sour grapes for you guys sadly seeing IPL being such a success. tough luck.

  • dummy4fb on April 24, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    @ Noel-Kalicharan...look at Virat Kholi's runs in the 2013 IPL..he's at 333 as well right after that game :)

  • dummy4fb on April 24, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    bhubii bowling look good because he didn't bowled to gayle... if he had bowled to gayle he may have the same economy rate of FINCH

  • true_point on April 24, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    We will see how this translates to the asking rate and the going price in the next year's IPL auction for Gayle. He might end up like A-Rod (Alex Rodriguz) of NewYork Yankees.

  • MrSlickJerk on April 24, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    To all who think that the bowling was too bad, it wasn't. Pune have good bowlers if not the best. Dinda, Bhuvi, Marsh, Wright are all good T20 bowlers. It was just that Gayle was in the mood and he smoked the weaker bowlers more than the others. Look at Bhuvis figures and Wright's figures. They were good. Gayle took advantage in the overs bowled by Finch, Murtaza, Marsh and inexperienced Pandey. Although I do not consider Murtaza and Marsh as weak bowlers. They have played enough T20 and have performed well. Sometimes good bowlers go for plenty in this format. In this match few of them went for too many.

  • S.h.a.d.a.b on April 24, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    The calibre of IPL is exposed. Gayle is an A class players and got C class bowlers, what else we could see? A case of men vs kids.

  • TRAM on April 24, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Gayle = power + timing. If there is one batsman in the world whose mere sight can make the bowlers tremble, it is this man.