Rashid Khan, Afghanistan, VVS Laxman, Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2018
Rashid Khan (Image courtesy: BCCI)

Chris Gayle, playing for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), was at his savage best on Thursday night as he lit up Mohali with the first hundred of VIVO IPL 2018. Afghanistan s teen sensation Rashid Khan was at the receiving end. The leg-spinner, who had bowled a record 18 dot balls against Mumbai Indians (MI) last week was plundered for 55 off his four overs on Thursday night. Gayle struck four consecutive sixes off Rashid en route to his sixth IPL hundred as Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) suffered their first defeat.

Rashid has had a cold season this year. He has managed only 3 wickets from 4 matches at 40.66. He has also gone at 7.62 per over.

VVS Laxman, SRH s mentor, defended the under-fire Rashid. Laxman was quoted by SportsStar as saying, I think the batting was too good. When Chris Gayle is in that kind of form irrespective of who is bowling, his hitting power was on display. As far as the bowlers are concerned, if they execute their plans and bowl to their plan, they should be happy. How many runs they give should not matter as long as they bowl to a particular plan.

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I felt Rashid did that. It s just that Chris was too good that night. When someone hits 11 sixes against your attack you know he has dominated the innings. When someone gets a 100 you expect the score to be more than 200, but the fast bowlers did a fantastic job and controlled the flow of runs.

Rashid is one of the key players for SRH. He will be in action against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at Hyderabad on Sunday.