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Plays of the day from the 31st game of the IPL, between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors in Bangalore
April 23, 2013
Blogs : Why Gayle's sermon is the beginning of the end
Report : Gayle 175* (66b), RCB win by 130
Features : When a man filled an entire stadium
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
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 ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddhartha Talya
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