Chris Gayle was in the news for all the wrong reasons during the ninth season of the Indian Premier League. While his teammates Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers were smashing batting records, Gayle was walking back to the hut game after game without doing anything remotely close to what he is known for.
Nothing was going Gayle’s way before the big night. The fearsome hitter was even benched for as many as six matches this year. The burly southpaw managed only 161 runs from nine innings before he walked into bat on Sunday.
Besides, Gayle was in the eye of a storm following another accusation of sleaze. The Jamaican had asked a Times journalist if she had ever had a T’some before proceeding to make more inappropriate comments. This came at the back of his controversial “Don’t blush, baby” interview with Mel McLaughlin interview during the Big Bash League earlier this year. After the latest scandal, Gayle lost his BBL contract with Melbourne Renegades while IPL authorities hinted that action would be taken if someone filed a complaint.
It was against this backdrop that Gayle geared up for the emotionally charged-up finale.
Chasing a mammoth 209 in the final Sunday night, Gayle was at his brutal best dismantling SRH bowlers at ease.
The Chinnaswamy crowd had already witnessed some high quality big-hitting from David Warner, Yuvraj Singh and Ben Cutting in the first innings. And Gayle walked in to give it back to Sunrisers in his own style on what was yet another horrid day for bowlers.
Gayle started cautiously against Purple Cap holder Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He launched into SRH pacer Barinder Sran in the fourth over of the game in which he hit a couple of big ones and a boundary.
It needed only mishits from the big-man’s bat for the ball to sail past the small-sized boundaries at the Chinnaswamy. But it was clearly ominous signs for SRH as he was striking them clean.
Gayle did not take his foot off the accelerator even after the Powerplay got over as he took on Henriques and Cutting and looked like he was in a hurry to lay his hands on the coveted trophy.
However, the dashing star fell prey to an off-cutter from Cutting and perished for season-best 76.
The RCB camp were undoubtedly thrilled as the Universe Boss set the platform for RCB to gun down a big total in a high-octane match.
Gayle will be remembered for his match-winning knock on the final night as much he will be for all the controversies he was involved in the last 45 days.