And destruction was on his razor sharp mind and in his strong arms from the word go. It took Gayle all of one ball to get his eye in and then as we've seen so often in this tournament, he let fly. He was intent on dominating early, blowing Abu Nechim Ahmed to smithereens in the first over itself. Three fours and a six came as Gayle targeted the boundaries with lusty zest and Mumbai immediately knew they had more than a handful to contend with.
Gayle even had a feisty Mayank Agarwal for support, someone who refused to sit meekly on the sidelines while his more-celebrated partner held sway. Indeed, Mayank complemented the storm from the other end by trading licks. With Gayle leading the way with his effortless hoicks over mid-wicket, bludgeoning cover-drives and powerful heaves down the ground, Agarwal followed suit and in just 9 overs, the dashing duo had notched up 100/0 for their side.
That landmark was followed by another - Gayle's 50, brought on when he crashed a length ball from Kieron Pollard into the midwicket fence. But just as he began accelerating towards a century, knocking a six off Pollard and two maximums off Harbhajan Singh, he was caught by a running James Franklin in the deep. Another gloriously brutal show of batting might had come to an end as Gayle departed for 89 off 47balls. One wonders if he has some more blitzkrieg up his sleeves saved for the final today!