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IPL 2018: “We were hit hard by Chris Gayle,” says Stephen Fleming

Gayle played a match-winning knock of 63 runs off 33 deliveries.

Chris Gayle and Stephen Fleming
Chris Gayle of Kings XI Punjab celebrates his half-century. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

After being neglected by 7 teams in the auction of Indian Premier League (IPL), the lion in Chris Gayle has woke up, and he has shown the world yesterday (April 15) that he can still send the ball to the moon. After a heartbreaking defeat in a close encounter against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming has admitted that his side was hit hard by the sleeping giant who is no more sleeping.

After sitting on the sidelines for the first couple of games, Gayle got a chance yesterday and he grabbed it with both hands. He scored 63 runs from 33 runs, and no one would have thought he is turning 39 in September this year after watching his fiery knock. His match-winning knock comprised of 7 fours and 4 biggies, and chasing a target of 198, Chennai’s juggernaut was stopped at 193.

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“We were hit hard by Gayle. He played really well. We thought we might be able to pick him up with him being a little bit rusty. We did incredibly well to restrict the score to somewhere under 200. The second half of our bowling during the innings was very good,” said Fleming, as quoted by Hindustan Times.

“We were able to get some wickets and create pressure. A score of 196 (197 in actual) is still very high, but it’s a lot lower than what it could have been. I’m proud of the effort. During the chase, we just hung in and as good as Gayle was at the start of their innings, Dhoni was good at the back end of ours. We were only one hit away from stealing another win. A great game of cricket, that ebbed and flowed, and two really good batting performances from two senior players,” he further added.

On Dhoni’s knock that kept CSK in the game

It wasn’t only Gayle who announced his arrival yesterday. CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni showed that he still has got many things to offer to Indian cricket with his knock of 79 runs off 44 deliveries. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t finish the game for CSK.

Speaking about the knock from the leader of the pack, Fleming said “When you’re chasing, you get certainty in an uncertain game. So you can manage your risk like you saw MS (Dhoni) managing his almost to perfection. It was a couple of good yorkers from Mohit Sharma that denied us a win.”

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