Whenever mention of T20 happens, the name that instantly pops into the heads of the fans is that of the superlative West Indies batsman Chris Gayle. The tall and strongly built batsman can hit sixes at his own will. Interestingly, days after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fans confirmed the retention of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as their own player for the next Indian Premier League (IPL) season, their rivals in Bengaluru found a reason to rejoice on Friday. And that reason is again, Chris Gayle. The West Indian legend has been silent, with the bat, for some time, but today, the left-handed batsman showed the world that he is still the boss when it comes to destroying the opposition’s bowling attack.
Gayle, during a Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) eliminator between Khulna Titans and Rangpur Riders at Dhaka, single-handedly took the Riders home with a 51-ball unbeaten 126, with 14 sixes and six fours. It was Gayles’ 19th T20 century and it also made him the first player to hit 800 sixes in T20. Chasing a target of 168 runs, Riders hit 171/2 in 15.2 overs. To add to his spectacular record, Gayle for the 14th time has hit 10-plus sixes in a T20 match- a feat that no batsman has achieved so far. His 14 sixes today is the equal fourth most in T20 history. He has hit 17 sixes for RCB in an innings and did the same by hitting 14 sixes for Somerset.
After his massive scoring spree, his IPL club RCB took to Twitter and celebrated the moment. They said,”Plenty of debate surrounding @henrygayle’s form and fitness. Now that he’s slamming in those centuries (19 now, in T20 cricket), it’s best if we put it to rest and let his bat do the talking! #PlayBold.”
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the IPL Governing Council announced that franchises will be allowed to retain up to five players. And if we go by the new policy, RCB would without any doubt retain their star-hitter. The IPL 2018 season will see the return of former champions CSK and Rajasthan Royals. So far, Gayle has played 318 matches in T20 and scored over 10,000 runs with an of 40.54. His best in the format is 175 against Pune.