Chris Gayle's innings included 7 fours and 4 sixes © AFP
Chris Gayle’s innings included 7 fours and 4 sixes © AFP

VIVO IPL 2018 saw another close finish in match 12 at IS Bindra Stadium. Hosting Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) were defending 198. MS Dhoni‘s unbeaten 79 almost took CSK over the line, before Mohit’s Sharma’s emphatic last-over curbed the Yellow Brigade’s winning streak in the current edition. However, the momentum was provided by Universe Boss, Chris Gayle. Playing in his first match for KXIP, Gayle’s 33-ball 63 powered KXIP to a winning score, and skipper Ravichandran Ashwin suggested that the camp thought of “unleashing him” due to CSK’s attack being in his favour. They felt Gayle would be able to express himself, and the ploy worked.

“Today I thought we should unleash Gayle and he had the right sort of an attack to go out there and express himself,” revealed Ashwin in the post-match conference.

Crediting his bowlers, Ashwin added, “I felt there was a lot of dew, but overall the bowling went well. It was crucial to get (Ambati) Rayudu— out for a 35-ball 49 — at that point of the game. We are not going to be a team that thinks maybe we could have done this or that, we are going to be a team that thinks maybe we could have stuck to the basics.”