Chris Gayle has announced his return to the IPL with two magnificent innings which paved the way for the victory of Kings XI Punjab.
VIVO IPL 2018: IPL was saved when Virender Sehwag picked me, says Chris Gayle
The West Indies player and the leading run-scorer in Twenty20 cricket scored the first IPL century in 11th edition of the tournament on Thursday night at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
The 38-year-old smacked an unbeaten 104 off 63 deliveries, which contained 11 sixes and one four, and set up Kings XI Punjab’s third win of the season.
Gayle was second in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s all-time table, with 3420 runs from 91 matches. But the franchise had released him before January’s IPL auction.
On the first day of the auction he had gone unsold. On the second day, KXIP made a bid and secured his services for his base price of Rs 2 crore.
He remained in the sideline for the opening two matches. But when he got the chance in the third, he made an immediate impact by scoring 63 off 33 balls.
Gayle’s 21st century in T20 cricket has ensured that if there is no problem with fitness, he will be playing the rest of the matches for KXIP.
In Thursday’s match, while receiving the Man of the Match award, Gayle thanked and gave credit to his new franchise’s director of cricket operations, Virender Sehwag, for selecting him.
“I think Virender Sehwag saved the IPL by picking me (in the January auctions),” said Gayle with a big smile. “Everyone says I have a lot to prove. I am just here to put some respect on my name.”
Although Gayle had a disappointed last IPL season, yet he scored a lot of runs in the Bangladesh Premier League and Caribbean Premier League.
With two recent eye-popping innings, Gayle has proved his critics that he still has plenty of gas left in his tank.