On April 23, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chris Gayle did something which has never been duplicated. Gayle tore into the Rising Pune Supergiants attack en route to a blistering unbeaten 175, the highest individual score in the history of T20 cricket, let alone the IPL. The result: RCB amassed a herculean 236/5, which even after seven years, remains the highest total in the history of the IPL. Here’s how the carnage panned out. Also Read - IPL 2021: Jos Buttler Hails Rajasthan Royals 'Captain' Sanju Samson, Calls Him Free Spirited And Relaxed
Those doing ball by ball commentary ran out of adjectives to define Gayle’s annihilation. There was nothing new to write as sixes galored at Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy stadium. Gayle’s assault left a plethora of records behind. It was the fastest T20 century (off 30 balls), the highest individual score in T20 and Gayle’s 17 sixes was the most hit in an innings. Also Read - Yuzvendra Chahal's Parents Test Positive For Covid-19, Father Admitted in Hospital: Dhanashree Verma
Gayle was nine off three balls before rain caused a 33-minute delay. But once play resumed, Gayle’s three boundaries in two balls got him going. In the next two overs, Gayle faced just one ball, which he more than made up for by taking four sixes and a boundary off Mitchell Marsh. From there, the assault began, which could be gauged by the bowlers’ figures. Marsh, who was having a reasonably well IPL with the ball, was hammered for 28 in his first. Left-arm spinner Ali Murtaza, playing his first game of the season was carted for 45 off two. The desperation was such that skipper Aaron Finch bowled an over himself which got taken for 29 runs. Also Read - 'A spark that can become a roaring fire': Sunil Gavaskar on Rishabh Pant's Captaincy
It was like batting in EA Sports Cricket 07, on easy difficulty level, and then more. Ball after ball, Yuvraj Singh, stationed in the deep, saw the ball disappear over the boundary rope. The domination was such that only one boundary out of Gayle’s 30 hits could be regarded as a mis-hit. Two of his sixes cleared the roof, including the one he hit to get to his hundred, as the ball rebounded back into the lower tiers. He had broken Andrew Symonds’ record for the fastest ever hundred in the history of T20s. Gayle celebrated the sizzling hundred in his true style by going down on his knees and acknowledging the spectators.
Once captain Virat Kohli was run out, AB de Villiers joined Gayle to pummel the hapless conquistadors from PWI even more. Both stitched a quickfire partnership and curiously enough, de Villiers was the dominant partner of the two by compiling 31 runs of just 12 balls.
Gayle’s demolition ensured there was only one possible result from this game. The shell-shocked PWI batsmen just couldn’t get going even on a batting paradise. The Australian all-rounder Steven Smith played a few eye-catching shots. PWI could only make 133 runs for the loss of nine wickets in their 20 overs. The sole PWI player who could come out of the carnage with his head held high would have been Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He bowled his four overs and gave away only 23 runs.
Gayle and his teammates celebrated like there was no tomorrow. In fact, Gayle celebrated his monumental innings by cutting a cake at the team hotel.