The towering West Indian has carried on where he left off in 2012 with more big hitting in this year’s IPL.
Chris Gayle opened his IPL account in 2013 with a 92 not-out during Royal Challengers Bangalore’s victory over Mumbai Indians.
The RCB batsman was awarded the Orange Cap in last year’s competition for scoring the most runs overall and the West Indian looks ready to chase that target again.
Despite picking up a knee injury during his 58-ball innings Gayle still managed to hit 16 boundaries, including a six off the last ball of Bangalore’s 20 overs.
The 33-year-old’s impressive score helped RCB narrowly beat their opponents by two runs in a tense opening IPL fixture for both sides.
As well as Gayle’s unbeaten total KB Arun Karthik (20) and captain Virat Kohli (24) helped the Royal Chellengers reach 156-5.
New Mumbai captain Ricky Ponting had shown faith in under pressure bowler Mitchell Johnson and was rewarded when Johnson dismissed Tillakaratne Dilshan in the third over.
Yet Gayle’s powerful shots were too much for Ponting’s men in the end and they couldn’t maintain the big West Indian.
RCB’s 156 proved too much for Mumbai as fellow Caribbean player Kieran Pollard couldn’t emulate Gayle and only managed one run off the last ball, despite needing three for the win.
Gayle has averaged over 60 in his last two seasons in the IPL, scoring 1896 runs in his 44 Twenty20 matches in the tournament since 2009.
After the RCB powerhouse’s breakthrough season in 2011 he became recognised as arguably the best 20-over batsman in the world. Gayle also holds the record for being the first cricketer to score a century in the format.