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Gayle becomes first to hit 1,00zero T20 sixes

Chris Gayle just missed out on yet another Twenty20 ton when dismissed for 99 but the self-styled “Universe Boss” still delivered another intergalactic effort by becoming the first player ever to smash 1,000 sixes in T20 cricket.

Still, though, Gayle’s heroics for Kings XI Punjab were not enough to stop Steve Smith then guiding his Rajasthan Royals home to a seven-wicket win which keeps them in the playoff hunt.

The 41-year-old West Indies batsman Gayle, the only player to amass more than 13,000 T20 runs in a little over 400 matches, smashed his 99 off 63 balls, with eight sixes.

The seventh of those took his career tally in T20s to the magical 1,000 mark.

It was Royals’ England fast bowler Jofra Archer who spoiled Gayle’s landmark afternoon, yorking him one short of what would have been his 23rd T20 century.

“Getting out on 99 is unfortunate, but I have been there and done that,” Gayle said.

“It was a good ball. This happens. Still enjoying it out there. Having fun. Still have to be hitting it well at the age of 41. Got to give thanks for that.

“To those who wanted a century, I am sorry I missed out today – but in my mind it is a century.”

Gayle’s T20 batting stats are staggering, underlined by the fact that the next best six-hitting batsman is his fellow West Indian Kieron Pollard, who has cleared the boundary ropes 690 times in over 450 innings.

Still, Smith was the man left with the biggest smile after his side, who would have been out of contention if they’d lost, overhauled Punjab’s 4-185 for the loss of just three wickets in the 18th over.

To reach the playoffs next week, both teams now need to win their last round-robin matches on Sunday, and hope other results go their way.

In the chase, Ben Stokes (50) and Robin Uthappa (30) gave Rajasthan a flying start that was then propelled by Sanju Samson (48) and finished by Smith himself (31 not out) and Jos Buttler (22 not out).

Stokes, after taking 2-32, dominated the start of the chase, scoring 50 of the first 60 runs before he was out in the sixth over.

“We still need to do a bit to make the playoffs, and we need things to go our way,” Smith said. “Having said that, if that happens, we are playing very good cricket.”

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