‘Well rested’ Gayle plunders record 14th T20 ton in IPL
BANGALORE, India (CMC):
Big-hitting opener Chris Gayle says sitting out Royal Challengers Bangalore's game on Monday allowed him much needed rejuvenation and contributed to his scintillating century in the Indian Premier League (IPL) yesterday.
The 35-year-old Gayle missed the contest away to Chennai Super Kings - which RCB lost by 24 runs - but returned highly motivated, slamming 117 off a mere 57 balls to help RCB crush Kings XI Punjab by 138 runs.
For Gayle, the hundred was his 14th in T20 cricket - the most by any batsman.
"Honestly, I was very well rested. I just chilled in my room, watching TV, tweeting and relaxing," the West Indies opener said afterwards.
"I was really fresh for this game and I was very happy to be back on the field playing today. It was all the more satisfying to come up with such a performance."
He added: "Hopefully, 14 more can come and that would be brilliant. Although I scored a century, it was a thorough team effort today. Everyone chipped in and the bowlers capped off a great match with a brilliant second half."
Gayle's knock powered RCB to 226 for three, after they were sent in at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
He slammed seven fours and 12 sixes as he collected his first 50 off 22 balls, before romping to his second 50 off 24 deliveries.
Gayle shared 119 for the first wicket with captain Virat Kohli, who slammed 32 from 30 balls, and added a further 71 off just 34 deliveries with AB de Villiers, who hammered 47 from 24 balls, including three fours and four sixes.
Gayle said he always enjoyed batting with the exceptional South African batsman.
"Once AB comes in, you tell him to give himself a chance, bat a few balls and we can take it from there," Gayle explained.
"But today the game was already set up, so batsmen could come and bat freely straight away. AB is one of the best batsmen in the world, if not the best. It is amazing to bat with him."
Gayle's innings could have easily never been. He was forced to survive a testing opening over from seamer Sandeep Sharma, who went past the left-hander's edge on a couple of occasions.
With just one run from five deliveries, Gayle went into overdrive from the next over, setting the stage for a brilliant innings.
"Sandeep got the better of me the last year. He bowls really well upfront, getting the ball to swing," Gayle pointed out.
"I just wanted to get past his first over. I started to open up in the second over and once I got my first boundary the momentum was built and things started to go in full flow."