Chris Gayle became the second player after Suresh Raina to be stranded on 99. (Image credit: Kings XI Punjab Twitter)
Chris Gayle is often considered the Don Bradman of Twenty20 cricket. The West Indies left-hander is the only individual to smash over 10,000 runs in this format at an average of close to 40 and a strike-rate close to 150. His exploits in Twenty20 cricket, especially in leagues all over the world, be it the Natwest Twenty20 blast, Caribbean Premier League, Big Bash League, Bangladesh Premier League, the Pakistan Super League as well as the Indian Premier League make him one of the greatest Twenty20 batsman in the world. During the game between Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Mohali, Gayke created more history but missed out on the chance to achieve a unique feat.
Playing for Kings XI Punjab, Gayle blasted a fifty off 28 balls and he became the first player in Twenty20 history to hit 100 fifty-plus scores in this format. With 79 fifties and 21 hundreds, Gayle cemented his reputation as one of the greatest in this format. He had a chance to convert this into something special and he was nearing it during the death overs.
Gayle was dropped on 83 and on 95, he needed a six to make a century as his 100th fifty-plus score but he managed only a boundary to remain stranded on 99. He became only the second player after Suresh Raina to be stranded on 99, with Raina having been unbeaten on that similar score in 2013 against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad. Gayle’s effort helped Kings XI Punjab reach 173/4 but his former team, Royal Challengers Bangalore, chased the target down and won by eight wickets thanks to Virat Kohli’s 67 and AB de Villiers’ unbeaten 59.
The win was Royal Challengers Bangalore’s first in IPL 2019 after six consecutive losses but the focus was on Gayle, who created a record in addition to the multiple records he holds in the IPL. Gayle is the first batsman to hit 300 sixes in the IPL and he is just 75 away from a 1000 sixes in this format. Gayle has the second-most number of runs in the IPL as an overseas player behind David Warner, who plays for the Sunrisers. The left-hander has six IPL centuries, which is the most by any player.