It is proving to be an IPL for the veterans -- Harbhajan Singh, then Andre Russell, Yuvraj Singh and now Chris Gayle. After Kings XI Punjab were invited to bat first on a two-paced surface at Jaipur, KL Rahul was dismissed in the very first over. This forced Gayle to buckle down and suss the surface.
However, when he got past 6 runs, he scripted a record by becoming the fastest batsman to breach the 4,000 runs mark in the IPL. And then he motored along -- it was vintage Gayle -- it was the Gayle who took centre stage and pounded Jaydev Unadkat for 18 runs to gallop along to 50. He was not stopping anytime soon and blazed away.
However, it was a short fast bouncer from Ben Stokes which cramped Chris Gayle as he hooked it away, but Rahul Tripathi was sharp at deep mid-wicket, as he leapt and latched on to a smart catch to end a breezy bright innings.
Rajasthan clawed back after Gayle's dismissal
Rajasthan clawed their way back into the game after Gayle's dismissal. Nicholas Pooran and Sarfaraz threw the bats around in the final overs to propel the score to 184 in their allotted 20 overs. It was not a very good day for Jaydev Unadkat who leaked runs in the middle and final phase.
"New recruits in the side, lots of young talent. New season, new hopes. Don't think the wicket will change much, but we were also looking to bowl first. Hopefully with our bowling attack we can defend the score. As far as this bunch goes, they are very keen, and there is no baggage from the past (given that Kings XI haven't won a game at this stadium), so we don't care about the old records," KXIP skipper R Ashwin said at the toss.
For Ajinkya Rahane, it was exciting to start in home conditions and he wanted his side to enjoy themselves out in the field.
"It's important to start well, and the preparation that we have had has been fantastic. We need to start well, get some momentum, and stay in the moment. We'll bowl first. Looks like a good wicket. We have had some practice matches. Won't change much, this pitch. It's all about staying in the moment and following the process," Rahane said.