Chris Gayle smashed his 14th T20 century off just 46 balls as the Royal Challengers Bangalore crushed the Kings XI Punjab by 138 runs in the IPL on Wednesday.
Gayle finished on 117 off 57 as RCB reached 226-3 thanks to a supporting, unbeaten knock of 47 off 24 balls from AB de Villiers.
KXIP were then bowled out for a sorry 88, with South African David Miller able to contribute only seven runs to the cause.
The margin of victory – 138 runs – was RCB’s biggest victory, and the second-biggest margin of victory in the IPL.
KXIP captain George Bailey won the toss and opted to field first. That, and the first over bowled by Sandeep Sharma, where only one run was scored, were the only moments that belonged to the visitors over the next three hours.
Gayle exploded in the second over; he picked up a streaky boundary off Mitchell Johnson first up, but then stamped himself on the Australian fast bowler. The third ball was deposited into the stands at long off, the fourth hit into the sightscreen and the fifth ball, a leg stump full toss, put away to the square-leg boundary.
That was just the beginning, as the Jamaican wouldn’t relent; he picked up two sixes and two boundaries off Sandeep Sharma in the third over and deposited a Johnson delivery over midwicket in the sixth over. Gayle brought up his half-century off 22 balls in the sixth over as RCB had raced to 68 for no loss before the fielding restrictions had been relaxed.
The opening partnership ended in the 12th over when Kohli couldn’t keep out a Sandeep Sharma yorker. The RCB openers had added 119 runs in 11.2 overs – Kohli’s contribution was 32 from 30 balls.
Gayle continued to attack the hapless KXIP bowlers, hitting Karanveer Singh for consecutive sixes in the 13th over. And when he had put away a leg-stump delivery from Johnson to the fine-leg boundary, Gayle had brought up his 14th century in Twenty20 cricket.
Gayle got out at the end of the 17th over when he drove a half-volley from Axar Patel straight back, but the bowler was alert enough to cling on to the return catch. Gayle’s innings included seven boundaries and 12 sixes.
Some of the sixes he hit on the day were huge. A few of the hits kissed the roof of the Chinnaswamy Stadium and returned to the field of play, while several others landed well into the second tier of the stands.
RCB were also helped by cameos from De Villiers and Sarfaraz Khan (11 from seven balls).
When it was their turn to bat, KXIP were pushed on the back foot, losing the wicket of opener Manan Vohra to the fourth ball of the chase.
Sreenath Arvind, playing his first game of the season, ran through the visitors’ middle order, picking up four wickets in an unchanged spell to kill the contest. Mitchell Starc cleaned up the tail as KXIP were shot out for 88 – their lowest-ever total in the IPL.
Picture: Indian Premier League