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INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE 2017

Gayle storm blows away Gujarat

19 April 2017
MATCH REPORT

West Indies star passes 10,000 T20 runs as McCullum left cursing his choice of headwear

Indian Premier League 2017, Match 20

GUJ
RCB

The result: Royal Challengers Bangalore 2-213 (Gayle 77, Kohli 64) defeated Gujarat Lions 7-192 (McCullum 72, Chahal 3-31) by 21 runs.

The match in a tweet: Look out in the crowd! Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli explode for RCB and Brendon McCullum returns fire as sixes rain on Rajkot

10,000 T20 runs: First order of business for Chris Gayle was to knock off the three runs he needed to become the first man in history to score 10,000 runs in T20 cricket. In very un-Gayle style, he picked them off in singles. By the time he departed, Gayle had 10,074 runs to his name in a 290-match T20 career that has spanned the globe. Some of the teams he has piled up runs for include the Melbourne Renegades, the Sydney Thunder – and Western Australia in the pre-BBL era – the Kolkata Knight Riders, Jamaica Tallawahs, Lahore Qalanders, Matabeland Tuskers, Somerset, the ill-fated Stanford Superstars and, of course, the Royal Challengers Bangalore as well as the international runs he's scored for the West Indies. The next most prolific T20 run scorer also featured in this match, but Brendon McCullum is all the way 2,478 runs behind.

Ricky Ponting's insight into Chris Gayle

The 'Universe Boss': Chris Gayle isn't exactly short of modesty, but he had been short of runs. But he's only ever one lusty blow and a little bit of luck away from another jaw-dropping innings. He had both in Rajkot against the luckless Gujarat Lions as he piled up a 38-ball 77. There could have been more but he was sent back leg before wicket after being hit on the toe by a yorker that might just have been sliding down leg. But first for Gayle, the 10,000 run milestone, and then it was time to party. The very next ball went for six. He would add six more maximums before he was done, including one into the top tier to bring up the fifty. He took a liking to Ravi Jadeja as the India spinner went 4-4-6-6 in one over. The last ball in that sequence saw him caught on the rope in spectacular style by McCullum, but there was one small issue …

The wide brim hat: Who isn't a fan of the wide brim hat? Gujarat Lions supporters, that's who. Having already laced Ravi Jadeja for two boundaries and a six, Gayle aimed at the long-off boundary once more. It was to Brendon McCullum's right but the Kiwi knew the value of the wicket and set off in pursuit. A full stretch dive and McCullum reeled in a brilliant catch – one-handed, his outstretched right hand clutching the ball as he tumbled to the ground, landing inside the rope and rolling safely to a stop in the field of play. Gujarat celebrated but Gayle wasn't going anywhere. Replays showed the brim of McCullum's red hat had brushed the advertising hoarding around the rope. There was only millimeters in it. On commentary Danny Morrison captured the thoughts of Gujarat supporters: "The sun's not even out, brother!". Gayle moved from 38 to 44 and would add another 33 runs before being dismissed.

McCullum's wardrobe fail costs him amazing catch

The support act: It takes something special to put Virat Kohli in the shade but that's where the India superstar found himself batting alongside Gayle. Although Kohli being Kohli, he wasn't going to let his West Indian opening partner have all the fun. Kohli sent just the one six into the stands, but added seven boundaries as he added 64 from 50 balls. Impressive, but it can't compete with Gayle!

McCullum's riposte: Inspired by Gayle and still lamenting his choice of headwear in the field, Brendon McCullum showed there's more than one big hitter in the IPL. The former Kiwi captain mimicked Gayle and blasted an incredible seven sixes of his own as he raced to his own half-century. His innings came in 44 balls, including five dot ball to start off the innings. But his wicket, in the 15th over, changed the match; he got too far under the spin of Chahal, sending it higher rather than further and it was well caught by fellow Kiwi Adam Milne.

Kohli's butter-fingers: The game may have been fairly safe in RCB's hand by the time Andrew Tye lofted his second ball towards the long-on fence where RCB skipper Kohli was waiting. Kohli raced to his right and leaped, but dropped the catch as Tye scrambled back for a second. The very next ball, the first of a new over, saw Kishan heave one skyward, also towards long-off, where Kohli was again waiting. This one was pretty much straight down the India skipper's throat. But perhaps worried about the proximity of the boundary rope (he was a good two metres inside) Kohli fumbled again, this one costing RCB four runs. Kohli's attempt to regather the catch saw him dive as India held its breath with concern still high around that right shoulder injured in the Test series v Australia. Luckily for Kohli, his right arm landed on the foam advertising hoarding covering the boundary rope, cushioning his fall.

Kohli did take one catch cleanly against Gujarat // BCCI
Kohli did take one catch cleanly against Gujarat // BCCI

The Aussie crew: Travis Head added his own fireworks with 30 from 16 balls batting at No.3 for RCB, while Western Australia bowler Andrew Tye returned a respectable economy of just 8.5 in the face of the RCB onslaught. Aaron Finch, safely reunited with his kit bag, hit 19 before he was stumped off the left-arm spin of Negi, and Shane Watson saw his two overs disappear for 24 runs. Head was also given a trundle, conceding 18 from his two overs.

The wash-up: It was a much-needed win for the RCB, who have improved their record to 2-4 ahead of a clash with the in-form Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday. Gujarat, meanwhile, still have just the one win to their name and will need to respond when it's their turn to take on Kolkata on Friday.

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