Royal Challengers Bangalore v Gujarat Lions, IPL 2017, Rajkot April 18, 2017

Saved by the hat, won with the bat

Chris Gayle found some form with a typically brutish display of power-hitting in an innings that saw him breach 10000 runs in T20s

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Hogg: Hopefully Gayle can carry the form for RCB

Star turn

Chris Gayle played in Royal Challengers Bangalore's first two games this season. His returns were as they've been over the last year - sporadic. His last T20 fifty had come in the Caribbean Premier League in 2016, 17 innings ago. He was benched in Royal Challengers' next three games, all losses. But Gayle had his chance when AB de Villiers and Samuel Badree were ruled out with injuries.

Calmly, Gayle chipped away at the three runs he needed to breach 10,000 runs in T20s. After achieving the landmark, he unleashed a typically powerful six off Basil Thampi. He then hung in with Virat Kohli before launching a counter-attack when the spinners came on. It seemed, in the eighth over, that Brendon McCullum put an end to his innings, snatching a sensational catch low to his right at the long-off boundary; but it was to be Gayle's day - he was saved by the brim of McCullum's hat kissing the boundary cushions.

There were to be three more sixes and two more fours before Gayle was done. By the time he was, he leapt to 77 off 38 balls, and put Royal Challengers in control of the game.

The wow moment

Gujarat Lions' bowlers had kept Gayle relatively sedate in the first few overs. A strong foundation was set as Royal Challengers moved to 54 for 0 after seven overs. Gayle, though, nullified any advantage the Lions bowlers gained, in the next over. You would expect Jadeja to thrive on a two-paced surface, but Gayle went after him. Only one run had come off the first two balls of the over. The next four went for 20. Gayle laid into Jadeja, hitting two fours, then two sixes to change the game.

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Stats that matter

  • Chris Gayle missed out on a century by 23 runs. It would have been his 19th in the format and taken him 12 above the next best: McCullum
  • Nearly 75% of Gayle's 10,074 runs have come in boundaries (7534)

What they said

"Chris took his opportunity beautifully. He batting like that allows me to bat through the innings, and I can chip my way out. We thought we were 30 runs above par."
Virat Kohli

"The UniverseBoss is still here and still alive."
Chris Gayle

"10,000 T20 runs. PARANORMAL. Only my car mileage is better than that!"
Gautam Gambhir, on Twitter

Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • golamr0144301 on April 19, 2017, 5:41 GMT

    Mr. Gayle is real Entertainer, when he started cyclone then every cricket fan enjoy except bowling site. any bowler all over the world fell tense against him simply he is rock star with bat. hope he will continue his exciting exhibition next some years. also pray he will participate next W T20 with WI cap.

  • RAVISHGOWDA on April 19, 2017, 4:19 GMT

    Congrats to Universal T20 Boss Chris Gayle

  • Jose on April 19, 2017, 0:36 GMT


    They used to say, "Go to India to see snake charmers, elephants in the street, & rope trick". We saw one yesterday, done by a Newzealand-dasher to a fellow tradesman from West Indies, with ropes provided by Rajkot.

    How Baz 'tipped his hat' to wake up the sleeping giant was a bit-heart breaking for GL supporters, though Baz himself looked 'beyond all that', who seems to dismiss it away as part of the game.

    Whichever, whatever, or however we look at it, it let off a mini Gale-storm of sorts, to RCB fans' delight. May be, that bit of rope-trick may set in motion further Gale-storms which, by chance, may push RCB over the rope into the top four?

    As of now, it still looks a low chance-punt!

  • chevon6941573 on April 18, 2017, 21:33 GMT

    Respect Gayle 10,000 runs this man is a real g a Jamaica mi deh bless up Gayle keep on killing these teams big up yourself real gangsta chris gayle.

  • Narine on April 18, 2017, 19:40 GMT

    HAHA congrats to the Champion player and its sad to know people wanted him replaced heading into the game...take that in your pipe and smoke it!!!

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