Dubai: It was sheer mayhem at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday. Smashing the fastest century in the history of the game off just 30 balls, Chris Gayle stood like a Colossus and guided Royal Challengers Bangalore to the highest total in Twenty20 history.
Morally shattered by Gayle’s onslaught, Pune Warriors, chasing Bangalore’s mammoth 263 for 5, could muster only 133 for nine and crashed to a 130-run defeat.
In the end, Gayle trudged back unbeaten with 175 runs off just 66 balls with 13 boundaries and 17 sixes. This whirlwind knock transformed Pune fielders into mere spectators and as one placard rightly said: “When Gayle is in action, he transforms fielders into spectators and spectators into fielders.” Most of Gayle’s shots crashed into the crowd and some even hit the roof of the stadium, cracking the asbestos.
Gayle had once told Gulf News: “I owe my shots to the right balance, a bit of power and timing.” His balance was perfect from the start and he was often seen smiling at the impact of some of his shots. So dominant was Gayle that he forced his opening partner Tillakaratne Dilshan, who is also one of the hardest hitters in the game, into a mere observer.
Pune skipper Aaron Finch, who won the toss, would not have thought what nightmare is in store for his bowlers when he elected to field first. From the first six off the first ball of the fifth over that Gayle hit off Mitchell Marsh which smoothly sailed over long on, he was in control. He went on to hit the second, fifth and sixth deliveries of the same over for sixes. With the last six of that over, he reached his half-century in 17 balls.
Gayle moved from strength to strength and reached his century in the next 13 balls. At one stage, the huge Chinnaswamy stadium looked too small to contain Gayle’s shots. The moment he went on to his knees and slogged, the ball invariably disappeared into the crowd. Be it a good length ball or a slower one, Gayle could hit the ball to the boundary and even over it without even moving from the crease. With his score on 95, he hit Ashok Dinda into the roof of the stadium to break Yusuf Pathan’s 37-ball IPL century record.
At one stage, it looked Gayle may even reach a double century. Astonished by the sheer power with which he played his shots, a commentator asked him what he had for breakfast and a smiling Gayle said: “All I asked for was a plain omelette and two cakes.”
He quickly added: “I’m astonished myself. I think we’ve got a good total. All that I wanted was a good total for my team as no team can be taken for granted.”