IPL: Gayle’s record ton consigns Sunrisers to first loss

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Prior to the start of IPL 2018, Kings XI Punjab’s director Virender Sehwag said Chris Gayle would be worth the money spent on him if he were to win his team two or three games. Gayle has now played two match-winning innings in two matches.

Four days after his 33-ball 63 against Chennai Super Kings, Gayle shellacked his sixth IPL hundred and 21st overall in T20s to consign Sunrisers Hyderabad to their first defeat of the season.

On Sunday, Gayle lined up CSK’s medium-pacers, but adopted a different approach against a formidable Sunrisers attack. He saw off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first spell and later unleashed a brutal assault on Rashid Khan’s legspin.

All told, Gayle smashed 42 off 16 balls from Rashid at a strike-rate of 262.50.

Gayle batted through the innings for his 104 not out off 63 balls, which also included four twos. In pursuit of 194, Sunrisers lost early wickets as well as Shikhar Dhawan to an elbow injury, and there was no way back for them, despite fifties from their captain Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey.

Gayle v Rashid: round-II

With two wickets falling in quick succession, Gayle slowed down and brought up his fifty off 39 balls. He then kicked into top gear and became only the second batsman, after AB de Villiers, to take Rashid for four sixes in an over. Gayle did so off successive balls, in the 14th over, which cost 27 runs.

When Rashid erred too full, Gayle simply opened up hips and put the sightscreen in danger, and when Rashid dragged his length back he mowed the ball over the leg side. The visual moment of the over, though, came when he hared back for a second run off the last ball and wore a wry smile.

With their premier spinner leaking runs, Sunrisers were forced to look beyond their frontline options. Deepak Hooda, however, could not do much with his part-time off-spin.

Sunrisers sink in chase

Sunrisers received a big blow in the first over when Dhawan retired hurt after taking a blow to the elbow, and he did not return to bat. Mohit Sharma varied his pace excellently and bowled both Wriddhiman Saha and Yusuf Pathan to leave Sunrisers at 37-2 in five overs.

Williamson and Pandey worked past the early blows with a 76-run stand for the third wicket, but they struggled to keep in touch with the soaring asking rate.

Mujeeb Zadran’s mystery spin, Andrew Tye’s control, and the bigger boundaries in Mohali did not help Sunrisers’ cause either. When Williamson holed out for 54 off 41 balls in the 15th over, Sunrisers were left needing 81 off 34 balls. It was just too much for a middle order lacking muscle. (ESPNCricinfo)

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