Saved by the hat, won with the bat
Chris Gayle played in Royal Challengers Bangalore's first two games this season. His returns were as they've been over the last year - sporadic. His last T20 fifty had come in the Caribbean Premier League in 2016, 17 innings ago. He was benched in Royal Challengers' next three games, all losses. But Gayle had his chance when AB de Villiers and Samuel Badree were ruled out with injuries.
Calmly, Gayle chipped away at the three runs he needed to breach 10,000 runs in T20s. After achieving the landmark, he unleashed a typically powerful six off Basil Thampi. He then hung in with Virat Kohli before launching a counter-attack when the spinners came on. It seemed, in the eighth over, that Brendon McCullum put an end to his innings, snatching a sensational catch low to his right at the long-off boundary; but it was to be Gayle's day - he was saved by the brim of McCullum's hat kissing the boundary cushions.
There were to be three more sixes and two more fours before Gayle was done. By the time he was, he leapt to 77 off 38 balls, and put Royal Challengers in control of the game.
The wow moment
Gujarat Lions' bowlers had kept Gayle relatively sedate in the first few overs. A strong foundation was set as Royal Challengers moved to 54 for 0 after seven overs. Gayle, though, nullified any advantage the Lions bowlers gained, in the next over. You would expect Jadeja to thrive on a two-paced surface, but Gayle went after him. Only one run had come off the first two balls of the over. The next four went for 20. Gayle laid into Jadeja, hitting two fours, then two sixes to change the game.
Stats that matter
- Chris Gayle missed out on a century by 23 runs. It would have been his 19th in the format and taken him 12 above the next best: McCullum
- Nearly 75% of Gayle's 10,074 runs have come in boundaries (7534)
What they said
"Chris took his opportunity beautifully. He batting like that allows me to bat through the innings, and I can chip my way out. We thought we were 30 runs above par."
"The UniverseBoss is still here and still alive."
"10,000 T20 runs. PARANORMAL. Only my car mileage is better than that!"
Gautam Gambhir, on Twitter
Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo