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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Star of the Game: Christopher Henry Gayle!

Star of the Game: Christopher Henry Gayle!

April 20, 2018 09:48 IST

Chris Gayle celebrates his century against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday

IMAGE: Chris Gayle cradles his bat after hitting a century against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Photograph: BCCI

Remember how Christopher Henry Gayle -- the Titan of T20 cricket -- almost went unsold at the IPL Players Auction in January?

Spurned by the Royal Challengers Bangalore -- whose jersey he wore for several IPL seasons -- franchise after franchise refused to raise the paddle when C H Gayle's name was called out.

Then that unlikely combination of co-owner Preity Zinta, team mentor Virendra Sehwag and team CEO Satish Menon decided that Gayle would be a good fit for the Kings XI Punjab.

Gayle was picked up for his base price of Rs 2 crore/Rs 20 million and the entire hall erupted in relieved applause.

How could an IPL season be without its most enduring mascot?

 

The Jamaican has only played two IPL games so far. In each, he has been the Man of the Match. On Sunday, April 15, he scored 64 against the fancied Chennai Super Kings in his first game.

On Thursday, April 19, Universe Boss -- as he has dubbed himself -- started off slowly, then picked up momentum as only he can.

He made his intent clear in the fourth over when he went after leg-spinner Rashid Khan, following a reprieve, and showed the Hyderabad bowlers -- considered the best bowling unit this IPL season -- no mercy.

Gayle took a fancy to Rashid in particular, smashing him for 3 big sixes, taking 27 runs off the Afghan leggie in the 14th over.

Not only did he bat well by himself, Gayle stitched up an 85-run partnership with Karun Nair to give the Sunrisers a tough target to chase.

Gayle got to his 6th IPL century in the 19th over and dedicated it to his daughter who was present in the stands.

His cradling his bat after he gets to a half century or century is becoming as much of a hallmark as that archer's pose his buddy and fellow Jamaican trademarked after his 100 and 200 metre victories.

Norma Godinho / Rediff.com