Chris Gayle ended his wait for a bat in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) in style on Sunday, scoring a 22-ball half-century that gave KXIP a rollicking start after they were put in to bat by CSK at home in Mohali.
Gayle, who was left out of Punjab's first two matches, took the Chennai bowlers on from the word go, hitting offspinner Harbhajan Singh for a boundary off the first ball he faced.
He replaced Australian allrounder Marcus Stoinis in the Punjab eleven.
The Jamaican then unleashed himself against the veteran Indian offspinner's second over in which he hit him for 11 runs in 3 balls, including a four and a six.
But he reserved his best for Deepak Chahar.
In the last Powerplay over bowled by Chahar, Gayle cut loose after his opening partner KL Rahul gave the West Indian strike with a single off the first ball. The next five balls read 6, 4, 4, 1wd, 6, 0.
Desperate to break the opening partnership, Harbhajan brought respite to Chennai by removing Rahul (37 off 22) as the score read 96/1 in 8 overs.
Gayle, who was picked up by KXIP in the auction for his base price of Rs 2 crore, was finally dismissed in the 12th over of the innings by Shane Watson when his attempted hook ended up in the hands of Imran Tahir at short fine-leg. It ended his knock at 63 off 33 balls, including 7 fours and 4 sixes.
KXIP, however, failed to reach 200 and ended up with 197/7 in their 20 overs after a middle-order stutter saw them losing three wickets in nine balls.