Mumbai, April 10: Universe Boss Chris Gayle lighted up the Wankhede Stadium with his blitz as Mumbai Indians invited Kings XI Punjab to bat first in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 encounter here on Wednesday (April 10). And later KL Rahul smashed his maiden IPL ton as he propelled Kings to 197/4 in 20 overs.
Rahul remained unbeaten at 100 off 64 balls and hit six maximums and as many boundaries in his knock. The Karnataka batsman has already slammed a couple of tons in the T20 International but an IPL century had eluded him so far. But the talented batsman made most of the good start and converted it into a memorable knock.
Wankhede Stadium might have been the home ground of hosts Mumbai Indians but once Rahul entered in the 90s, the crowd started chanting 'Rahul-Rahul' to encourage the right-handed batsman to complete his ton.
Earlier, opening the innings for KXIP, Gayle along with his partner KL Rahul gave his team a blistering start as the duo added 116 runs between them and targetted almost every Mumbai Indians bowler.
If West Indian Gayle was at his powerful best, India's Rahul was all about touch and class. The duo started the proceedings on a quieter note as Kings had only added 20 runs from the first 4 overs. Then came the over number 5 in which Gayle hammered Jason Behrendorff for 23. Later, Rahul too joined the party and played some exquisite shots in his innings.
The Jamaican swashbuckler struck quickfire fifty before getting dismissed for 63 off 36 deliveries. Gayle entertained the audiences with his 7 powerful sixes and three boundaries.
Here's how cricketing fraternity and fans reacted to KL Rahul and Chris Gayle show:
You could not have more of a contrast as an opening pair .. the power of Gayle and the touch and class of K L Rahul @IPL— Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) April 10, 2019
19th over bowled by Hardik. Alzaari had two overs left. Rahul smashed 25. Little things that change the game.... super knock by Rahul. Booked his ticket for England. #MIvKXIP— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) April 10, 2019
Excellent finish from KL Rahul. Looked for a while like he was leaving it till too late. His form augurs well.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 10, 2019
Rahul kept his best for the last. Scintillating century gets Punjab to a formidable score that will require some strong-arm and strong-willed batting by Mumbai— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 10, 2019
#MI under murderous assault from Gayle-Rahul. Not easy to stop runs on a feartherbed pitch, more so when have the capacity to clear the boundary so easily and frequently!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 10, 2019
KL Rahul slowly sliding towards that no. 4 spot?— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) April 10, 2019
KL Rahul tore apart & pulverized Hardik Pandya. Sweet revenge for being a collateral damage on the Koffee with Karan. Load off his chest now... #MIvKXIP— Navneet Mundhra (@navneet_mundhra) April 10, 2019
Well played @klrahul11! Timely reminder of his talent, make the most of it in the WC. Played.— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) April 10, 2019