The IPL 5 contest between Team Delhi and Team Bangalore was turned into a secondary affair by one man. Friday night's encounter at the Ferozeshah Kotla was a 'longest six' competition for Chris Gayle.
A total of 13 sixes, to all corners of the ground, came off the Bangalore batsman's blade during his 62-ball unbeaten 128. The ball just went into the stratosphere and kept disappearing into the crowd.
Gayle and Virat Kohli (73 n.o., 53b, 9x4, 1x6) put on a mammoth 204 runs during their unbeaten second-wicket stand as Bangalore powered to 215/1 in 20 overs in a must-win clash after being put into bat.
The total was more than sufficient to shut Delhi out of the contest even though the hosts valiantly tried to make a match of it before going down by 21 runs.
It was just brute force on show as Gayle distributed his assault equally amongst all Delhi bowlers. His first 38 runs though very sedate as they came off 34.
The flood gates opened from the 12th over. Two sixes off Pawan Negi were measured at 110m and 109m while Irfan Pathan was deposited 108m and 109m long into the stands.
The West Indian's first 50 came off 37 while the second came in a mere 16 balls - eight of those being sixes. The records just kept on tumbling at the blink of an eyelid as Gayle sailed past 700 runs for the tournament (he now stands at 706 runs) and even equalled Brendon McCullum's record of 13 sixes in an IPL innings.
It was always going to be bridge too far for the hosts to cross. With an 'unwell' Virender Sehwag sitting out, a lot depended on David Warner. Warner (10) managed one six before he lost his bat and wicket to a Zaheer Khan delivery.
Delhi, though, will consider this match as an aberration and will thank their luck that the freakish Gayle assault came after they had already booked their play-off berth.
The only positive to come out of this match for Delhi was the return to form for Ross Taylor who has been struggling to fire in IPL 5 after his return from injury, smashed a 26-ball 55 (7x4, 2x6) to keep the Delhi crowd entertained.