Chris Gayle gave a fitting answer to the sceptics with a blistering hundred as Kings XI Punjab overpowered Sunrisers Hyderabad by 15 runs in an IPL encounter. For Sunrisers, it was their first defeat after three successive wins.
A cornered tiger can be dangerous and Gayle showed why he has taken the initial lack of interest of franchises to his heart. Gayle scythed through Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack with a 21st T20 hundred firing Kings XI Punjab to 193 for 3 in 20 overs.
Gayle's unbeaten 63-ball-104, his 21st hundred in shortest format propelled KXIP to 193 for 3 in 20 overs and they then restricted Sunrisers to 178 for 4, recording their third win in the tournament. "A lot of people thought I'm too old. After this innings, I have nothing to prove," Gayle said immediately after his knock.
While chasing, Sunrisers' were dealt with a blow at the onset when Shikhar Dhawan was hit on the elbow off the very first delivery that he faced from Barinder Sran.
Pacer Andrew Tye (2/23 in 4 overs) and rookie mystery spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman (0/26 in 4 overs) then stifled Sunrisers in the middle overs despite Kane Williamson's 54 off 41 balls and Manish Pandey's unbeaten 57 off 42 balls. In between themselves, Tye and Mujeeb bowled 15 dot balls, which proved to be crucial in the end. Even Barinder Sran (0/22 in 4 overs) was economical opening the bowling.
Punjab had no problem as Mohit Sharma and Andrew Tye collected two wickets each and dented their chances after Dhawan retired hurt and Saha being dismissed early. Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey's fifties went in vain as the spinners restricted the batsman from smashing which resulted in Punjab winning the match by 15 runs. The Kings XI put an end to the Sunrisers' winning streak but still remain third on the points table with Kolkata Knight Riders sitting in the top spot.
A happy boss and Bollywood actress Preity Zinta never lost her smile during the match after Gayle's ton won the match, their third in four matches they have played.