Chris Gayle plundered his sixth Indian Premier League century as Kings XI Punjab ended Sunrisers Hyderabad's unbeaten start in emphatic fashion.
The Sunrisers had won all three of their matches in the 2018 IPL but Gayle ensured that run came to an abrupt halt in Mohali as his 104 not out set up a 15-run win.
Gayle took apart the normally dangerous Rashid Khan with aplomb, the explosive left-handed opener carrying his bat and sending the ball to all corners.
He was ably supported by Karun Nair (31) after KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal had both fallen for 18, Gayle eventually getting to three figures with a quick single.
A six-ball cameo from Aaron Finch added 14 runs to their total, leaving Kings XI 193-3 from their allocation – a target Hyderabad never looked like reaching.
Captain Kane Williamson did his best to force the pace but Kings XI's bowlers were excellent, offspinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman particularly impressive.
As the required run rate climbed, Williamson was ploughing a lone furrow, the skipper dismissed for 54 as the Sunrisers finished well short on 178-4.
'UNIVERSE BOSS' STRIKES AGAIN
After initially going unsold in the IPL auction, Kings XI snapped up Gayle in the third round of bidding, and what an impact he has made already.
He hit 63 on his debut against the Chennai Super Kings, and went even better on Thursday with a fantastic knock that stunned the previously unbeaten Sunrisers.
Gayle's unbeaten 104 was his 21st T20 century – 14 more than anyone else – and included 11 brutal maximums, a solitary boundary and just 21 dot balls.
MILESTONE BEFORE MISERY FOR RASHID
Rashid has become a T20 sensation over the past two years and in dismissing KL Rahul in the eighth over he moved onto 100 wickets in the shortest format since the start of 2017.
However, it all went downhill from there, as Gayle came to the party with ferocious effect.
Six of his 11 maximums came off the leg-spinner, including four in succession in the 14th over, as the normally economic Rashid finished with figures of 1-55.
DHAWAN DEPARTS EARLY
Shikhar Dhawan was set to be a key part of Hyderabad's run chase but he departed first ball as he was forced to retire.
A good-length delivery from Barinder Sran – the fifth of the innings – caught the opener out and slammed into his left elbow, leaving him in searing pain.
Attention from the team physio failed to improve his condition and Sunrisers lost their top man.
26 de mayo 2018
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