Chris Gayle breaks records, Pune Warriors
A brief shower that interrupted play was the only period of respite for the Pune Warriors India on Tuesday evening. Record after record was obliterated as the Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Pune by 130 runs, powered by an unbelievable 175* from Chris Gayle at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
RCB posted 263/5, going past Chennai’s 246/5 made in 2010 as the highest total in the IPL and Sri Lanka’s 260/6 made against Kenya in 2007. Pune were restricted to 133/9 in reply, Gayle himself taking two wickets in the last over of what was technically the defense.
The inclusion of Ishwar Pandey, Mitchell Marsh and Ali Murtaza had weakened the Pune attack and Aaron Finch reflected that, choosing to bowl first when he won the toss. But he was not prepared for what was to follow.
Chris Gayle has normally been slow to start off late but with rain clouds moving in on the stadium, he cut loose right from the start. After a quiet first over he had opened up with two consecutive boundaries when rain halted play. He resumed on the same mode when play resumed 40 minutes later, taking 3 more boundaries off the over. In contrast, Tillakaratne Dilshan dealt with Bhuvneshwar Kumar respectfully but struggled to put away Ashok Dinda.
Then the change bowlers arrived and the carnage began. Marsh was taken for 28 runs as Gayle raced from 22 off 11 to 50 off 17, the fastest fifty in all IPL and the first record to fall in his innings. Murtaza went for 18 and Finch for 29 as he raced to 95* off just 27b. It didn’t help that he received generous help from the bowlers who kept feeding him full length deliveries to put away. Sixes sailed over the roof of the stadium twice, once even forcing umpires to replace a ball that was lost.
Dinda bowled two Yorkers to keep him waiting on 95 but followed up with no ball. Gayle hit the ensuing free-hit for a six to bring up his 100 off just 30b, the fastest in all T20 cricket.
After Dilshan’s (33 36b 5x4 0x6) stop-start innings, Kohli (11 9b 0x4 1x6) had just begun to find his timing when he was run out. Unaffected, Gayle hit Murtaza for another 28 in between to rush RCB towards 200. Gayle and Dilshan had added 167 for the first wicket, RCB’s highest opening stand.
AB de Villiers played an explosive cameo, bringing out the paddle, the slog over midwicket and extravagant scoops over cover and fine leg to hit 31 off just 8b, adding a quick 44 off 15b for the third wicket.
RCB could have finished with more but only 4 runs came off the last 5 balls of the innings with the wickets of Saurabh Tiwary and Ravi Rampaul lost.
Gayle powered on regardless, overtaking Brendon McCullum’s 158* at the same ground in the 2008 IPL opener for the record of the highest score in all T20s and Graham Napier’s 16 sixes in a single innings. He finished with an astounding 175* with 13 fours and 17 sixes, a big hundred in any format of the game but one too incredible even for the shortest and fastest format.
Kohli opened the bowling with Kartik Murali (1/25) and left armer struck his former franchise a huge blow with his second delivery, dismissing local boy Robin Uthappa. Kartik chipped in again a few overs later, running to his left from mid off to catch a shot from Aaron Finch, very similar to the catch he took to dismiss Shane Watson on Saturday.
Jaydev Unadkat (2/38) effectively ended the game in the next over with the wickets off Luke Wright and Yuvraj Singh, leaving Pune at 43/4 after their powerplay overs.
Steve Smith (41 31b 6x4) and Mitchell Marsh 25 (23b 0x4 2x6) added 58 for the fifth wicket but were helpless with the required run rate ballooning from 16.76 to 23.42 over the course of their stay. Ravi Rampaul (2/21) claimed his second dismissal with the wicket of Smith while Vinay Kumar (1/24) yorked Marsh superbly to take his 13th wicket of the tournament, leaving Dwayne Bravo behind at 12. Even RP Singh (1/20) got a wicket, having Bhuvneshwar Kumar caught behind with the penultimate ball of his quota.
With 136 runs required off the last over, Kohli gave Gayle the ball. Murtaza edged him for four. He then attempted to give Gayle a taste of his own medicine, charging down the wicket for a heave but ended up being stumped. Gayle broke out into the Gangnam style dance. He fired in one at Ishwar Pandey’s pads and let out a very dramatic appeal that was turned down. The next ball he bowled Pandey, prompting another round of celebrations. The last ball of the innings was heaved but only fetched Dinda a single. He completed the run and was wrapped in a giant hug by his former Kolkata teammate Gayle (2/5), who could do no wrong on the day.
Highlights of Innings
Fastest individual fifty in IPL (17 balls)
Fastest individual hundred in T20 cricket (30 balls)
Longest six hit in this IPL (119 meters)
First player to hit 150 sixes in IPL
Best opening partnership for RCB (167)
Fastest team hundred in IPL (7.5 overs)
Most sixes hit by a batsman in an innings in T20 cricket (17)
Highest individual score in T20 cricket (175*)
Highest total in T20 cricket (263-5)