KOLKATA, April 20: Table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders and a transformed Kings XI Punjab cross swords in an Indian Premier League contest in which two big-hitting Jamaicans � Andre Russell and Chris Gayle � will be up against each other here tomorrow.
Gayle was at his best last night when he smashed this season�s first century � a 63-ball 104 not out � at the expense of one of the best bowling outfits, Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Gayle smashed 11 sixes, seven of them coming against the world�s top ranked T20 international bowler Rashid Khan, and gave a fitting response to his critics after the humiliation he had faced at the last IPL auctions where he went unsold.
The 38-year-old enforcer, who represented Royal Challengers Bangalore and KKR, twice went unsold after 10 glorious years before the Virender Sehwag-mentored side gave him a lifeline.
Gayle still had to sit out the first two matches, but when his moment came he played two match-winning knocks, including a 63 against Chennai Super Kings.
�A lot of people said �Chris has a point to prove�. Time waits for no one but I�m not here to prove anything to anyone. I just want to move on, enjoy my cricket,� Gayle said.
The battle at the Eden Gardens will see Gayle facing the spin challenge of KKR with West Indies teammate Sunil Narine and India sensation Kuldeep Yadav leading the attack that also has Piyush Chawla and part-timer Nitish Rana.
Kings XI Punjab look a transformed unit under India discard Ravichandran Ashwin. They now seem to be on a mission with a top-heavy batting comprising KL Rahul and Gayle followed by the flair of Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair. � PTI