One omelette and two cakes is all he ate, said Chris Gayle. Pune Warriors India would have wished he helped himself to a five-course meal, such was the hunger with which he laid into their bowlers at the M. Chinnasamy stadium on Tuesday.
It was mayhem. The basic figures spoke of
the carnage. Even Gayle was 'astonished'. When a minor storm interrupted the match early in the innings, Gayle had just dismissed seamer Ishwar Pandey for two consecutive fours. It was the lull before the storm.
Pune didn't know what hit them, the raucous crowd were left stunned and plucking 'catches'. Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan, no mean hitter of the ball, was a mere spectator at the other end.
After Gayle reached the fastest T20 century, skipper Virat Kohli bowed in salutation in the dug out. He did that again when his partner reached 150, this time in 53 balls. In the end, the stadium was on its feet applauding.
Gayle broke so many records, the most prominent one being the highest individual T20 score. KKR's Brendon McCullum had smashed RCB into submission with a blistering 158 in the very first match of the league in 2008 and it was only apt their own man bettered it. On that night, RCB had conceded 222 runs but this time Gayle took them to 263/5. Disheartened Pune caved in for 133 for nine, losing by 130 runs.
Gayle kept it simple. He stayed completely still for as late as possible and then brought his bat down with full speed. The quicker the delivery the faster and farther it went into the crowd.
Thrice he almost cleared the stadium before achieving the feat with his 14th six, sending Marsh over square leg, a 119m monster.
Nothing could have stopped Gayle. Bowling the last over in the Pune innings, he picked up two wickets with his off-spin. He did a jig, breaking into a Gangnam style dance.
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