IPL 2018: Chris Gayle smashes his 6th ton; the tiger is ageing but it still is a tiger

IPL 2018: Chris Gayle smashes his 6th ton; the tiger is ageing but it still is a tiger

The 38-year old Jamaican was one of the surprise names not retained by the RCB franchise.

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle celebrates his hundred. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Chris Gayle went almost unsold in the auctions of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 and was only grabbed by Kings Xi Punjab (KXIP) at the last moment. He did not play the first two games but was back to form when he took a stance, scoring 63 off 33 balls against a strong Chennai Super Kings. But the 38-year-old smashing left-hander showed his mettle against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), the only team to remain unbeaten so far, at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali by hitting an unbeaten 104 in just 63 balls, blowing away the special Rashid Khan for 55 runs in 4 overs.

This century was the sixth that the dashing Caribbean has hit in his IPL career and he has the biggest tally of tons in this tournament – two better than the next best Virat Kohli – his former colleague in Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Here is a look at all the three-figure marks that Gayle has hit – five for RCB and one for KXIP:

102 not out off 55 balls against KKR (10 fours; 7 sixes; strike rate 185.45) at Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2011

After his initial disappointing stint with KKR, Gayle overcame the hurdles to get a team and he joined RCB as a replacement for Dirk Nannes in the 2011 edition and showed who’s the boss straight away. His former team set a formidable target of 172 for RCB at the Eden Gardens but Gayle made the chase look incredibly easy. He partnered with Tillakaratne Dilshan (38) and Kohli (30 not out) to win the game for RCB with almost two overs to spare. The champion had arrived and there was no looking back.

107 off 49 balls against KXIP (10 fours; 9 sixes, SR of 218.36) at Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

Just two weeks after the previous storm, the Jamaican produced another Blitzkrieg with Kings XI Punjab at the receiving end this time.

Gayle’s innings helped RCB post a total of 205 for 6 and then also took 3 wickets to thump the opponents by 85 runs to pick up the fourth straight victory. Gayle went completely ballistic on that night and shown zero mercy to the bowlers who were running for covers.

128 not out of 62 balls against Delhi Daredevils (7 fours; 13 sixes; SR 206.45) at Delhi in 2012

The next on the firing line was Delhi Daredevils (DD) the next year. After invited to bat by the opponent captain Mahela Jayawardena, Gayle took full use of the pitch at Feroz Shah Kotla to score an unbeaten 128 off just 62 deliveries. RCB required key points in this match and Gayle delivered just what the doctor delivered. Gayle put up an unbeaten 204-run partnership with captain Kohli and RCB beat a gritty Delhi by 21 runs at the end. Gaylestorm was here again.

175 not out off 66 balls against Pune Warriors India (13 fours. 17 sixes) at Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2013

If the previous knocks were superior, this one was out of this world.  Pune captain Aaron Finch won the toss and put RCB into bat and the rest was history.

It was the fastest ever hundred in T20s and it inflicted lifelong injuries on several bowlers. RCB posted a mammoth 263/5 in their allotted 20 overs and defeated Pune Warriors by 130 runs as the latter was clearly traumatized by the bizarre hitting by the West Indian. Gayle also chipped in with two wickets in the only over he bowled and signed off with a Gangnam style dance. A truly colourful character.

117 off 57 balls against KXIP (7 fours; 12 sixes; SR 205.26) at Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2015

Kings won the toss and asked RCB to bat first and it was Gayle again who appeared at his murderous best. Kings captain George Bailey had joked after asking RCB to bat that they would not want to chase 250. They didn’t but the target wasn’t much less either.

Gayle powered the home team to 226 for 3 and then RCB bowlers shot KXIP out for just 88, winning the game by 138 runs. The huge victory margin made it evident that Gayle’s batting had a crippling impact on the opponents’ game.

104 not out off 63 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad (1 four; 11 sixes; SR 85.71) at Mohali in 2018

Just when everybody wrote him off, Gayle arrived again, this time for KXIP who he had decimated twice in the past. He punished the best-playing team in the 2018 edition and also their biggest asset Rashid Khan to register the first ton of the 2018 season. After Ravichandran Ashwin won the toss and opted to bat first, Gayle was back to his vintage form and smashed his sixth IPL hundred although with a much lesser strike rate. Eventually, KXIP won the game by 15 runs. The tiger is aging but still, it is a tiger.