Bangalore: Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan feels that his opening partner Chris Gayle's record-breaking knock against Pune Warriors in their IPL match was the best ever he had seen in his career. Dilshan was at the other end for major part of the RCB innings when Gayle butchered Pune bowlers for 175 not out from just 66 balls last night, the highest individual score in any T20 cricket.
Asked if he has seen any such innings in his career at the non-striker's end, Dilshan said, "No. This was the first time. I batted with him in the last IPL too and he scored a couple of hundreds. But this was something special. "In my career this was the first time I saw someone hit the ball so cleanly. I was just standing at the other end and enjoying every bit of it," said Dilshan, who formed a 167-run opening partnership with Gayle in RCB's 263 for five.
Dilshan said after seeing Gayle hit the ball in the initial overs, he thought there could be something special from the West Indian. "In the fifth and the seventh over when he hit the medium pacer (Mitchell Marsh) and left-arm spinner (Ali Murtaza), I knew he could easily clear this boundary for many times (Gayle hit Marsh for 28 in an over before carting two sixes and a four in Murtaza's over). After that I just decided to take singles and give him the strike," said the Sri Lankan.
Dilshan said Gayle was one batsman every bowler was scared of facing. "Every bowler in the world is scared to bowl to Chris; there's no doubt about that. We don't talk much. Both of us believe in hitting the ball and that's what we look to do. We just look to enjoy every single ball. We just enjoy batting together in the middle. I, especially, enjoy batting with him a lot."
Asked what separates between him and Gayle, Dilshan said, "I think he has more power. I try to give him more strike in the first six overs because I know that he can clear the 30-yard circle more cleanly than I can. Not only the circle, he can clear the ground easily." PTI PDS