Chris Gayle (Image courtesy of Kings XI Punjab Twitter)
Chris Gayle went past 1,000 T20 sixes on Friday but missed another of his trademark quickfire centuries by one run as his King’s XI Punjab were beaten by Rajasthan Royals in the race for Indian Premier League playoff places.
The 41-year-old Gayle hit 99 off 63 balls with another eight sixes taking his overall Twenty20 total to 1,001.
King’s XI made 185-4 with the tournament’s leading run-hitter K.L. Rahul contributing another 46.
But Ben Stokes (50) and Sanju Samson (48) guided Rajasthan Royals to 186-3 with more than two overs to spare.
Missing out on his seventh IPL ton and seeing King’s XI’s winning streak end after five matches was a double blow for Gayle.
King’s XI remain fourth in the eight-team table but must now beat Chennai Super Kings on Sunday to make sure of staying in the top four who qualify for the playoffs.
Steve Smith’s Royals moved up to fifth, still with a chance of going through having been bottom of the table just a few days earlier.
King’s XI captain Rahul rued being put in to bat first and then bowl with the evening dew when their bowlers had no control.
“It was a horrible toss to lose,” he said. “It did get very easy to bat later on.”
Stokes took full advantage of the Punjab bowlers’ handicap making his half century off 26 balls with nine boundaries.
Smith and England’s Jos Buttler put on 41 in 19 balls to secure the victory.
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