When the "Universe Boss" Chris Gayle swings his bat, the ball tends to go a long way. That was the case on Monday, as Gayle smashed his 18th T20 century, against Trinbago Knight Riders, to power the Jamaica Tallawahs to a comprehensive six-wicket win over the defending champions of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2016 at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain
Gayle led the Tallawahs from the front with his monstrous batting and remained unbeaten right till the end, ensuring that his side would go over the line.
Gayle earlier had won the toss and had asked Trinbago Knight Riders to bat first on a wicket that was expected to assist the batsmen throughout the game.
For the first time in the tournament, Brendon McCullum clicked and cruised to 35 runs from just 18 balls (3x4, 3x6). Hashim Amla (74, 52b, 6x4, 3x6), at the other end, also played a wonderful innings. The Knights got off to a good start with the help of their openers.
Colin Munro (55, 39b, 5x4, 1x6), who scored a century in the last game, picked up a half-century. Munro and Amla added 103 runs together to propel the Trinbago Knight Riders to a total of 191 for 4 at the end of their 20 overs. They surely would have wanted to score 20 more runs, as the pitch was a batting paradise. The ball was coming nicely on to the bat and runs were being scored with ease.
Imad Wasim, Dale Steyn and Kesrick Williams picked up a wicket each, but most of the bowlers conceded a lot of runs.
It was a steep run chase and one of the Tallawahs batsmen had to play a big knock. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. The destructive left-handed opener crafted an outstanding innings. Gayle, knowing that the four overs from Sunil Narine would be crucial, carefully played out the offspinner and waited for the other Knight Riders bowlers.
Gayle reached his third CPL century in just 49 balls and remained unbeaten on 108 from 54 balls (6x4, 11x6).
Sunil Narine (4-0-9-1) was the pick of the bowlers for the Trinbago Knight Riders. Rest of their bowlers were taken for plenty in the seventh match of CPL 2016.
Kumar Sangakkara and Andre Russell contributed with the bat as well for the Jamaica Tallawahs.