Bangalore, April 23 (IANS) As a maker and breaker of records in the world of cricket, Tuesday’s league tie for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) explosive opener Chris Gayle was a breathtaking game against minnows Pune Warriors India (PWI) in the Pepsi IPL-6 T20 at the Chinnaswamy stadium here.
“Words cannot explain how I feel. Maybe, later on, when I’m by myself, I can reflect on what happened today (Tuesday). It was a breathtaking game and happy to be on the winning side,” a calm Gayle told reporters at a post-match presser after unleashing a storm over Warriors.
Setting new records and surpassing old ones, the West Indian south paw hit a hurricane unbeaten 176 of just 66 balls that included a whopping 17 sixes and 13 boundaries and made the hosts post a IPL record of 263 runs for the loss of five wickets in the stipulated 20 overs.
Chasing an impossible 264-run target, Warriors gave into RCB tamely only managing a paltry 133 for nine wickets in 20 overs to hand a 130-run victory to the home team.
“I’m really happy with the win from the team point of view. It put us on top of the table (with 12 points). It’s one of those days where you come out and things go according to you. (Tilakaratne) Dilshan supported well and A.B. (de Villiers) played a wonderful innings at the end. The bowlers finished the game on high,” a relaxed Gayle said despite looking tired.
Asked how he would rate the innings that rocked thousand of fans and set the stands on fire throughout the game, a modest Gayle said he would have to reflect on his past innings to assess if it was the best.
“It’s never easy. It takes a bit of power and I have it and I’m thankful for that. It paid off for me out there. On (April 20) Saturday (playing against Rajasthan Royals) I used it wisely, knowing when to go and when to tone it down. It was a good wicket, I didn’t want to just get a 100 and blast and blast and get out.
“We know how quickly these games can change. I wanted to stay there till the end and bat at least 18 overs if not all. I wanted to reach the 100, let someone else take charge while I take a break, and then pick it up back at the end. And AB did a fantastic job,” Gayle recalled.
On the secret of his energy and if he had a special diet for such big innings, the lanky Jamaican said he was up all night and couldn’t sleep.
“I ordered room service at 6.30 a.m. — one omelette, two pancakes and one hot chocolate. I went to bed only at 7.30 a.m. That’s all I have to eat on such days. Hopefully I get something to eat now,” a beaming Gayle quipped.
Gayle, however, had a word of praise for Warriors seamer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who conceded only 23 runs in his quota of four overs though didn’t get a wicket.
“Bhuvaneshwar has been a key bowler for them and he bowled really well. It was a good wicket and you can’t take away the fact that sometimes when you get on top of a bowler, it can create a different scenario. It’s a situation where a batsman gets off and throws off bowlers a bit and they don’t know what to do and can’t concentrate out there,” Gayle observed.
On the last over of the innings he bowled and took two wickets for five runs, Gayle said it was good fun and nice to finish off that way.
“It was also my first over of this IPL. Some people keep on asking – they have seen the Gangnam style in international cricket but why not in IPL. I thought it was the perfect time. I got a wicket and everything worked out perfectly.
The crowd is pleased and happy to see that. I’m an entertainer. So I try and entertain as much as possible. They pay the money to come and see good cricket.
Asked if he had any sympathy for the bowlers, Gayle said cricket was like that.
“It’s cricket man! Sometimes I get knocked over on the first ball andI like to ask the bowler if he’s hurt for me.”