Dubai: Chris Gayle, the ‘Universe Boss,’ announced his arrival in style with a 53 as he and KL Rahul (61 not out) took Kings XI Punjab over the line by eight wickets against Royal Challengers Punjab in their IPL match in Sharjah.
After restricting the powerful RCB batting line-up to 171 for six, the in-form openers Rahul and Mayank Agarwal (45) gave Punjab a flying start by putting 78. Gayle, who hasn’t held a bat since playing in the Bangladesh Premier League in January, had a tentative start before opening out – his innings being studded with five sixes and a four.
There was some last-minute drama with Gayle getting run out in the last over and new batsman Nicholas Pooran coming in with still a run to get off the last over against Yuzvendra Chahal. The West Indian kept his nerves to finish the chase with a six.
Earlier, a late blitz in the last two overs by Chris Morris (25 off eight balls) and Isuru Udana propelled Royal Challengers Bangalore to a challenging total of 171 for six wickets. Skipper Virat Kohli was his enterprising self to score 48 off 39 balls while AB de Villiers (2) failed coming in at No.6 – both falling to Mohammad Shami in one over.