Kings XI Punjab batsman Chris Gayle missed his IPL century by one run as he was dismissed for 99 against Rajasthan Royals. Gayle produced an enthralling knock, smashing eight sixes and six fours to top score for KXIP, but unfortunately for him and his fans, a seventh IPL century eluded the big-hitting Jamaican.
After batting well to reach close to what would have been yet another century in the IPL, Gayle facing Jofra Archer in the final over of the innings, was castled by a fiery yorker from the young England pacer. Usually of a calm demeanour, Gayle uncharacteristically displayed emotions after being bowled. Gayle lost his cool and swung his bat in disappointment, the piece of willow flying towards mid-wicket.
However, the anger did not last long as Gayle and Archer shook hands with the England quick congratulating the batsmen on his splendid knock. This is the second time that Gayle has got a score of 99 in the IPL. Last year, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gayle, representing KXIP, remained unbeaten on 99 off 64 balls to take his team to a victory.
During his innings, Gayle became the first batsman in history to hit 1000 sixes in T20 cricket, stamping himself as arguably the greatest T20 cricketer of all time. Gayle walked out to bat in the second over after Archer had removed KXIP opening batsman Mandeep Singh for a golden duck. Gayle and KL Rahul batted together to add 120 runs before the partnership was broken with the KXP captain falling for 46, but not before taking his tally to 660 runs for the season, his second in three years.
However, Gayle’s effort was not enough to prevent RR from chasing down the target. Ben Stokes’ quickfire fifty at the top, aided by Sanju Samson’s 48 and Steve Smith’s unbeaten 31, helped RR cruise to a seven-wicket win, snapping KXIP’s five-match winning streak.