The Melbourne Renegades have kept their Big Bash League finals hopes alive with a thrilling five-wicket win over the Sydney Thunder but it was Chris Gayle in the limelight yet again for all the wrong reasons.
A week after being condemned for his inappropriate interview with broadcaster Mel McLaughlin, the West Indian was left blushing after inexplicably failing to take an easy single at Spotless Stadium on Monday night.
After smashing the ball to long on, Gayle turned his back to his batting partner Tom Cooper in an ordinary display which was slammed on social media and by the commentators.
Even Cooper was seemingly unimpressed, saying “it wasn’t a good bit of cricket” on the Channel 10 broadcast.
To make matters worse, Gayle was dismissed by Clint McKay the next ball, throwing his wicket away after his flying start of 28 off 20 balls.
After the Thunder posted 5-173, the Renegades snuck over the line after stellar innings from Dwayne Bravo (47 off 24) and Cameron White (61 off 46).
The win elevated the Renegades to six points, level with the Thunder with just one game remaining and sets up a thrilling final round of fixtures.
There were a few tense moments in the final overs after Bravo and White were both dismissed by Andrew Russell in the 18th over but Peter Nevill and Ben McDermott showed cool heads to guide their side over the line with four balls to spare.
Earlier, the home side looked headed for victory after half centuries from Usman Khawaja and Shane Watson helped them post an imposing total.
Khawaja’s golden summer continued when he fired a sublime 62 in a 42-ball knock that included nine fours and one six.
He smashed the Renegades bowlers to all corners of the park as his impressive purple patch continued.
Since November, he’s scored four centuries and two half centuries in his seven innings in all forms of the game.
Watson, who also hit 62, was strong in the middle order and showed he still had plenty to offer following his Test retirement.
The Thunder have several injury woes with Andre Russell nursing a sore collarbone after being hit by a Nathan Rimmington short ball during his dismissal in which he hit his wicket.
South African allrounder Jacques Kallis left the ground during the Renegades’ run chase with a hamstring strain.