An hour and a quarter before the game was to start, Chris Gayle sauntered out of the dressing room, skipped down the tunnel and appeared on the field for the first time. By then, more than 25,000 fans had already gathered at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, and they welcomed Gayle with a roar that threatened to bring the newly-constructed canopies at the North and South ends of the ground down, setting the stage for an entertaining night's cricket and a Super Over victory for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The same buzz of anticipation prevailed when Gayle walked out to open the Royal Challengers Bangalore innings, alongside Tillakaratne Dilshan. Up against Gayle was Dale Steyn, in a match-up full of exciting possibilities.
In the event, the Sunday showdown lasted all of one delivery, an unexciting single. Then, the stadium erupted in utter delight – welcome, franchise loyalty – as Gayle was evicted by G Hanuma Vihari, an occasional offspinner whose day was made when he picked up the prized scalp with his very first delivery.