Chris Gayle played one of the most destructive innings in Twenty20 cricket, plundering a 49-ball 107, studded with a record nine sixes, to single-handedly earn Royal Challengers Bangalore an 85-run victory over Kings XI Punjab in the IPL match in Bangalore on Friday.
During his brutal innings, which hoisted Bangalore to 205 for six, the second highest total in IPL 4, Gayle went past a flurry of records as he became the first player to score two centuries in the tournament's history, after his 55-ball 102 against Kolkata Knight Riders in his first match of this season.
Chasing the huge total, Kings XI were never in the race after their skipper Adam Gilchrist was run-out to the first ball of the innings and ended up with 120 for 9 in their 20 overs.
All-rounder Ryan McLaren top-scored with 28 on a forgettable day for Kings XI, whose top five batsmen were in the pavillion by the eighth over for just 50 runs.
Gayle also took three wickets for 21 from his quota of four overs.
Sreenath Aravind was though the most successful bowler for the Bangalore side, claiming 4 for 14 from his four overs, while captain Daniel Vettori chipped in with one wicket.
Friday's sensational knock, which left the M A Chidambaram Stadium crowd spellbound, was the fastest hundred in IPL 4, bettering Virender Sehwag's 48-ball ton against Deccan Chargers by two balls.
Gayle, however, was way behind Yusuf Pathan's record 37-ball hundred last year, the fastest century in IPL history.
The nine sixes smashed by the West Indian was the most in IPL 4, two more than the seven during his unbeaten 102 against Kolkata.
Gayle, who played for Kolkata in the last two seasons, has now struck 21 sixes in the IPL, the highest the tournament's history, three more than Delhi captain Virender Sehwag's 18.
Out of Gayle's 107, on a spongy track, 94 came from fours and sixes, also the most in IPL history.
He was out in the 15th over, bowled by Piyush Chawla, as his pull shot landed into the hands of Ryan Harris at deep mid-wicket, much to the relief of Kings XI players.
RCB were 103 for 1 at the halfway mark and 154 for two when Gayle was out with the scoring rate over 10 runs per over.
The departure of the West Indian saw the scoring rate dip a bit, with Virat Kohli (27) out to the second ball after the fall of Gayle.
Saurabh Tiwary (13) and Asad Pathan (0) fell to consecutive balls in the 18th over, bowled by Harris, who, however, failed to take a hat-trick of wickets. He though dismissed Mohammed Kaif (3) in the last over.
A B de Villiers remained not out on 27.
Harris was the most successful Kings XI bowler, claiming 3 for 38 from four overs while Chawla took 2/37 from his quota of four overs.
RCB openers Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan (16) were quiet for the first three overs though both hit a four each in the first over bowled by Praveen Kumar.
Gayle launched himself with two sixes off Harris in the fourth over. Dilshan joined the party with two fours in the same over, which yielded 21 runs.
He was, however, out in the next over, holing out to Praveen Kumar while going for a big shot.
Gayle milked 22 runs from Praveen Kumar in the eighth over, with two sixes and as many fours, as he reached his fifty off just 28 balls.
The West Indian, who joined Royal Challengers midway into the IPL as
A replacement for the injured Dirk Nannes after being overlooked by his Board for the home series against Pakistan, greeted Chawla, who was introduced in the 10th over, with two sixes.