Melbourne Renegades vs. Melbourne Stars, Saturday, January 9, 2016, 7.10pm AEDT, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, watch on Network 10
CRICKET fans, make the most of the marvellous batting exploits of Chris Gayle in the KFC T20 Big Bash.
This will be the last time you will see him in the competition after Cricket Australia, which signs off on all Big Bash League contracts, reportedly vowed to block any team that attempted to sign him and bring him back for next season’s competition.
If you didn’t know who Gayle was before this week, you might have been living under a rock.
But, after his cringe worthy pass at Network 10 presenter Mel McLaughlin live on television during the Melbourne Renegades’ win over the Hobart Hurricanes on Monday night, you have no excuse.
His bizarre move to try and pick up the stunning presenter after he was dismissed for a brutal 41 off 15 balls has drawn the ire of all and sundry.
McLaughlin was interviewing him on the sidelines when he made the bizarre remarks.
“I wanted to come and have an interview with you,” Gayle told her.
“This is the reason why I’m here.
“Just to see your eyes for the first time.
“So hopefully we can win this game and then we can have a drink after.
“Don’t blush, baby.”
“I’m not blushing,” a visibly uncomfortable McLaughlin replied.
While his decision making off the pitch might be a little dubious, one thing we can’t argue with is his supreme batting ability.
The towering West Indian uses an absolute tree trunk to send opposing bowlers into the stratosphere and has whacked some of the biggest sixes seen on Australian shores in this Big Bash.
While he hasn’t quite managed to go on with it in any of his digs so far, the power hitter still has 155 runs, good enough for 10th best in the competition.
His highest score is just 46, but he is hammering them at a strike rate of 142.2 and has pounded 11 sixes and 11 boundaries in his 144 minutes at the crease.
Gayle has formed a formidable opening partnership with Aaron Finch, but, with his gun batting partner being called up for Australian duties, it will be up to the Calypso King to lead the way for the Renegades at the top of the order.
They are big shoes to fill. Finch has 246 runs at 49.2, his strike rate slightly better than Gayle’s at 143 and he has three half centuries with a highest score of 72.
Chris Gayle odds and betting tips
Surely the big man is due for a big score.
While he has been struggling a little with a problematic back injury, he just needs a little luck to really fire.
His 41 off 15 balls against the Hurricanes was some of the most powerful batting you will see on a cricket pitch and featured four fours and three sixes. When he fell, the side was 84, with Finch also going crazy at the other end.
We want to see him go on with it and we think he might have some defiance in his batting against the Stars.
He will need it if the Renegades are to be any hope.
The Stars bowling attack has been on point and they are just winding up for an assault on the Big Bash League finals.
They absolutely ploughed through the Hobart Hurricanes for just 124, mixing pace and spin to perfection.
The likes of Michael Beer, John Hastings, Scott Boland, Adam Zampa and Marcus Stoinis form a formidable bowling combination, but they will have to be even better, with the loss of James Faulkner and Glenn Maxwell to international duties.
Gayle fell for just four off 10 balls in the Renegades’ seven wicket loss to the Stars last weekend and that means he should be hell bent on a little revenge in this one.
With Finch gone, Gayle is the Renegades’ best bat and, with the chip on his shoulder, he must fire if they are to be any hope of keeping their finals hopes alive.
He is raw $3.25 favourite with sportsbet.com.au to top the Renegades batting chart, while you can get $1.85 about him to score more than 23.5. That feels like money for jam.
If you are going to have a crack at the head to head markets, it’s worth laying one down with sportsbet.com.au if you think it’s going to be a high scoring affair. The bookie will refund your bet, provided the losing side makes 160 or more runs. So it’s a little bit of insurance for your punt.
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