Chis Gayle on Monday smashed five sixes in an eight-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders. His 29-ball 51 was the cornerstone in Kings XI Punjab’s easy victory.
Kept out of the team in the first half of the tournament, the Jamaican juggernaut has been one of the reasons for Punjab’s fairytale comeback in the Indian Premier League. After winning just one out of first seven games, Punjab has now gone on to win five games in a row.
The Universe Boss, Gayle, has featured in all of those five matches. Out of nowhere, Punjab are suddenly the favourites for playoffs, and may be Qualifier and who knows if things go their way, may be the title as well.
From the bottom of the eight-team points table, Punjab have climbed to the fourth spot with just two matches to go and they have beaten all three teams ahead of them, Royal Challengers Bangalore were beaten twice.
At 41, Gayle still has the mojo in him. He has already smashed 15 sixes from the five matches that he has played so far. Comparision might be a foolish thing to do but he has become the original Big Show in Punjab squad but not Glenn Maxwell, the Aussie who has just 102 runs from 12 games and has so far gone the entire tournament without hitting a six.
Gayle’s five sixes on Monday were addition to his sensational record of maximums that no other player from the top five can match in the Twenty20 format. In a format where reaching 1000 runs is still a far cry for many, Gayle has is just seven sigh of 1000 sixes in Twenty20 cricket.
The 933 sixes that he has hit so far is as many as Yuvraj Singh (261), Jos Buttler (258), Shahid Afridi (245) and Cameron White (229) combined. Gayle stands and Gayle delivers, that is what hitting sixes has been for the most cashable cricketer whose career has spanned two generations.
Replying confidently in an interview few months ago, Gayle said he will continue playing cricket until he reaches 50. Gayle has shown what he can still do at this age, the Indian Premier League is a proof. And if he buckles up for the 2021 ICC World Twenty20, more records will be shattered.
Gayle has become a wine that becomes better with age. He is The Universe Boss for a reason. He is the Chris Gayle like no other.