Somerset, May 30: He doesn't care about the playing conditions, the pitch or the bowlers. Dashing West Indies batsman Chris Gayle hit 92 off 59 balls in his debut match for Somerset to lead his side to a dramatic three-wicket win against Essex in the T20 Blast at Chelmsford.
The innings was studded with eight boundaries and six sixes before he holed out to mid-wicket off Reece Topley in the penultimate over but Somerset reached their target of 177 off the final ball. Gayle's first five runs came off just 17 balls but then the Gayle storm took over.
It was his 48th T20 half-century.
Gayle has been in sublime form this season. He hit a double hundred against Zimbabwe in the ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia earlier this year. He then had a decent run in the Indian Premier League where he represents the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He has the record of hitting 530 over-boundaries in the annual IPL carnival.
The 35-year-old left-hander hit an unbeaten 175 off just 66 balls in the IPL in the 2013 edition. He also has a triple century in Tests, which makes him a successful batsman in all forms of the game.
Gayle, however, was dropped at third man by David Masters and made full use of it by smashing Topley for 21 in one over. The Jamaican was nearing his 15th T20 century after hitting two more sixes off Graham Napier but fell just eight runs short.
Gayle said the cold weather was causing him problem in the beginning but he gradually took over.