IPL Week 1 Notes: Gayle and McCullum set aggressive early tone

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The recurring theme of the cricket World Cup was that of aggressive batsmen having their wicked way with the bowling. After the first week of the IPL, in which 125 sixes have already been scored, the sense that willow is pummelling leather hasn’t disappeared.

Unsurprisingly, batsman dominate our round up of the first seven days of action, but one jaw-dropping catch also makes the grade.

Chris Gayle is the undisputed King of T20

That Gayle is playing in the IPL while his countrymen battle England in a Test series rankles some, but those disgruntled by the left-hander’s antics aren’t likely to include Royal Challengers Bangalore fans.

The West Indian crashed 96 from 56 balls to help the side chase down Kolkata Knight Riders’ 177 in match five, becoming the first player to score 7000 T20 runs in the process.

As has become his trademark in this format, Gayle paced his innings to perfection:

Brendon McCullum hits it 360°

The New Zealand skipper showed no signs of a World Cup hangover, as he continued his fine form from the 50-over competition in his second IPL knock of the season.

Tucking into the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling like a Sunday roast, the 5/2 favourite to top Chennai Super Kings’ run charts blitzed an unbeaten 100 from just 56 balls.

These three audacious ramp shots directly over the keepers head were easily the knock’s highlight:

Boundary catching reached a new level

If teamwork catching on the boundary, where a player falling over the rope throws the ball to a teammate to complete a catch, was futuristic development in the game, what is this Tim Southee/Karun Nair effort?

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.