#ICYMI: Kings XI Punjab's Chris Gayle scores first century of IPL 2018

Laverne Higgins
April 20, 2018

Aggressive Caribbean batsman Chris Gayle enthralled the audience at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, on his way to the 11th season's first hundred against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Chris Gayle alone has done this thrice! "They are becoming highly specialised in this format of the game, whereas some of the others play all the three formats of the game", Streak said.

Gayle was not picked in the IPL auctions initially before Punjab chose to take T20 cricket's most successful batsman for his base price of Rs.2 crore. The left-hander meted out special treatment to SRH's trump card Rashid Khan by hoisting the Afghan leg-sinner for four consecutive sixes in one over.

The Sunrisers' chase got off to a bad start when the team's top scorer Shikhar Dhawan was hit on the elbow by Barinder Sran in the first over and was forced to retire hurt.

"If we just look at barring Sunrisers (Hyderabad), it has been tough for seamers in IPL on really good wickets". Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) cruised to their third win in the tournament, courtesy Chris Gayle's 63-ball 104.

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After initially going unsold in the IPL auction, Kings XI snapped up Gayle in the third round of bidding, and what an impact he has made already.

The first 50 came off 39 balls and he took a mere 19 balls to complete the second 50. Rashid Khan, who has been famous for not letting the batsmen free their arms, was brutally thrashed in today's match. "To make Rashid concede that many runs (55 in four overs) was awesome", Tye said at the post-match news conference last night".

Kaul also said that losing opener Shikhar Dhawan, who had to retire hurt after taking a blow on elbow while batting, was a setback.

Gayle found supporting hands from Karun Nair (31) and Aaron Finch (14*) as Kings XI finished strongly at 193 for 3. Kings XI Punjab now have 6 points in first four games, they have not lost a home game this season. Apart from Mohit Sharma who gave 51 runs in 4 overs and captain Ravichandran Ashwin who leaked 53 runs, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Barinder Sran, Andrew Tye pulled the match back for their team, bowling with an economy of less than 7. When Williamson holed out for 54 off 41 balls in the 15th over, Sunrisers were left needing 81 off 34 balls. Where it looked that KXIP could reach only 170-180, Gayle's power play set a flawless platform for them to target at least 200 on a pitch that looked placid.

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