Gayle back to his supreme best

February 16, 2013

The demon in Chris Gayle is back and back in some style to create a storm in the Bangladesh Premier League that destroyed Sylhet Royals in the race-to-final against Dhaka Gladiators on Friday.
In an astonishing display of power-hitting, Gayle rained down 12 sixes to stroke a swashbuckling 114 from 51 balls, which powered the Gladiators to 197-9.
Gayle came into this game with just 18 runs to his name in four one-day internationals against Australia and his recent history in Bangladesh was also not very encouraging.
The powerful Jamaican began his poor run when he had accumulated only 88 runs in the Test series against Bangladesh in November and followed it with 72 runs in five one-day internationals and only six in the one-off Twenty20 game.
Gladiators turned to Gayle despite his dip in form and what a way he repaid them. In a game that was heading towards their opposition with Gladiators on 64-5, Gayle caused a huge turnaround to stun Sylhet Royals.
Gayle, playing for Barisal Burners, had scored a century against the same Royals in the opening match of the BPL’s inaugural edition, an innings which destroyed their confidence completely.
It had so much demoralising effect on Royals that they had to wait for eight matches to get their first win in the BPL in its first edition. Unlike the previous edition it has happened now in the race-to-final, which was effectively a semi-final.
Royals have still another chance to make it to the final, but after being at the receiving end of such a disdainful hammering it remained to be seen if they can overcome the shock.
Not even in their worst nightmare, Royals could imagine that it was coming in this match. Even after they had completed their first 10 overs of bowling, Royals had no idea how Gayle was going to change everything so quickly.
Amid a freefall of wickets from the other end, Gayle had to remain watchful in the first 13 overs. But once he saw Sohrawardi Shuvo providing juicy balls in the 14th, he decided to take it all and hit three sixes taking 24 runs from that over.
It earned him his fifty from 36 balls and believe it or not he needed just 10 more balls to get into his century, uncharacteristically with a half-hearted single off a Nazmul Hossain Milon delivery.
This was his third century in the BPL in just six matches, spanning over two seasons. He gave the BPL a kick-start with his first century in the first season and with his third one he provided the X-factor that was badly missing in the second season.
No other batsman in the world has the power to do it, at least in this way, you bet!

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