Chris Gayle hit a 38 ball 77 to help his side Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 21 run victory over Gujarat Lions last night, lifting them off the bottom of the IPL table. Gayle and Virat Kohli put up a 122 run opening stand, helping their side reach a total of 213 for 2 with Travis Head and Kedar Jadhav batting till the end.
The innings was also significant for Gayle because he reached the 10,000 T20 runs mark during its course, a landmark which he said he wanted ‘so badly.’ Speaking about the achievement, Gayle said, “Samuel Badree reminded me before the game and said, ‘Chris, only three more runs to go, make sure you go get it’ so it was actually playing on my mind a bit. Once I crossed the line, I said, ‘listen it’s time to have a go’ and then it eventually paid off, so I am really happy to get the runs.”
Gayle added, “People are still looking out for Chris Gayle. The universe boss is still here and still alive. It was great fun. You know it’s good to be back. I wanted this so badly, but first of all to get 10,000 runs, it was actually on my mind, so I’m glad to get that sort of achievement. It’s a privilege to actually be the first person to get there. Hopefully I can continue entertaining the fans.”
Interestingly, before the match, Gayle had the lowest strike rate among openers who had played 50 balls or more this season. By the end of his knock, he had hit five fours and seven sixes. He maintained that all the strokes that he played came naturally to him, and were not premeditated.
“It’s not really premeditated, it just comes natural, to be honest,” he said. “Over the years, a lot of guys spoke to me about my stance. Even Shaun Pollock spoke to me about my stance. You’re never too old to learn.”
Finally, Gayle thanked all the franchises he has played for, and the West Indies cricket team for playing their part in him getting to 10,000 runs. He said, “I just want to thank the fans and all the franchises where I have actually played around the world. Even playing for West Indies as well. At the end of the day, they have actually played a part in this 10,000 runs as well. So, I want to thank all the franchises. It has been fantastic and like I said still I have a lot more to offer to the fans. Hopefully, I can keep entertaining and get a few more thousand runs under my belt.”