RAJKOT, India – West Indies Twenty20 superstar Chris Gayle became the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in Twenty20s, when he belted a typically bellicose half-century to fire Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 21-run win over Dwayne Smith’s Gujarat Lions in the Indian Premier League Tuesday.
The veteran left-hander, who has not played for West Indies in 12 months, hit a sparkling 38-ball 77 – his first half-century in 17 T20 innings – as RCB, sent in at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, raced to 213 for two off their 20 overs.
In reply, Lions made a good fist of it but were restricted to 192 for seven off their 20 overs, with Smith failing at the top of the order with one.
New Zealander Brendon McCullum pummelled 72 from 44 deliveries but lacked support in the top order.
The headlines, however, were all about the sensational Gayle who with 32, six and 22 in his three previous innings in the tournament, entered the game just three shy of the 10 000 run mark.
And he achieved the mark in the fourth over of the innings and in his 290th T20 game when he edged seamer Basil Thampi to third man.
The 37-year-old then unleashed his full powers, blasting five fours and seven sixes as he raced to his 61st T20 half-century off just 23 balls, launching left-arm spinner Shivil Kaushik for his fifth six to raise the landmark.
Gayle featured in an up-tempo 122-run stand for the first wicket with captain Virat Kohli who punched 64 from 50 deliveries.
The Jamaican eventually perished in the 13th over when he was lbw to a leg-stump yorker from Thampi.
Gayle now has 10 074 runs, well ahead of McCullum who is second on the run-getters list with 7 596, with Australian Brad Hodge third on 7 338 and West Indies power-hitting Kieron Pollard fourth with 7 087.