Gayle rescues Kings XI on return
It was his first competitive game since January of this year, but Chris Gayle showed little rust as the self-titled ‘Universe Boss’ came up trumps with the bat to help lead the Kings XI Punjab to an eight-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Gayle, who batted at number three for the sixth time in his lengthy Twenty20 (T20) career, totalled 53 runs from 45 balls, with one four and five sixes, as Kings XI chased down the 172 needed for victory for two wickets.
Gayle and captain KL Rahul put on 93 runs for the second wicket, but Gayle was run out off the penultimate ball of the final over with just one run needed for victory.
Nicholas Pooran came in and hit the final ball for six to seal the second win for the Kings XI, who remain at the foot of the IPL table on four points from eight matches.
Captain KL Rahul was left unbeaten on 61, while fellow opener Mayank Agarwal contributed 45.
Earlier, RCB’s total of 171 for six was based on Virat Kohli’s 48 from 39 balls, with Chris Morris contributing a quick-fire, unbeaten 25 from eight balls.
After the match, Gayle said it was great to finally get some match action, and the outing was even sweeter since his team got an important win.
“It was a good innings, my first in the IPL this year,” he said. “Now I can finish with the IPL for 2020 and make myself available for 2021, and I can get out of the bubble now and go home.”
Gayle, who was batting at number three for the first time in 397 matches, said he was mandated to do a job and he was pleased he could execute at the right time.
“The team asked me to do a job and I delivered,” he said. “It was an issue batting at number three because the openers have been batting well right throughout the tournament, so I didn’t want to trouble that. Mayank and the captain gave us some fantastic starts in this IPL, and like I said, I accept the job, but the win was more important for the team”.
After reaching his half-century, Gayle, who recently recovered from a stomach bug, pointed to the back of his bat to reveal ‘The Boss’ sticker. When asked about the gesture, the ‘Universe Boss’ simply said that they should put some respect on his name.