For a brief while, Gayle force threatened to lash the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday.
The moment was significant. It was the inaugural match of IPL-10 and if the Royal Challengers Bangalore were smarting from the eight-run defeat at home in last year's final, they had little time to show as defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad thrived on fielding lapses and good knocks by Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques and Yuvraj Singh to post 207 for four.
Had Chris Gayle delivered in the manner he had threatened to, it probably would have sealed the deal for RCB on a day when left-handers came to the party with the Fab Four - Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag, all of whom were felicitated by the BCCI - in attendance.
The Sunrisers have built a reputation for defending totals, but with Mustafizur Rahman yet to join the team, they needed a bigger cushion on a wicket where the ball came nicely on to the bat and on a day when Afghanistan's Rashid Khan revelled on his IPL debut with two for 36 as his team won by 35 runs after dismissing RCB for 172.
Mandeep, too, looked in good touch, till he got too cute with leggie Rashid and paid the price by chopping the ball on to his stumps. A wicket off just his fourth delivery in this format was just the kind of impact SRH expected of him, but the loss of the openers had little effect on Travis Head - another leftie - and Kedar Jadhav, who was spectacularly run out by a Ben Cutting direct hit from long leg, after taking RCB to 98 for two at the halfway stage.
The southpaw then took two good catches as the RCB challenge fizzled out - they needed 69 from last five overs - and the Sunrisers made it a memorable outing for their fans seeing them in action for the first time after winning the title. As usual, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was brilliant upfront and at 'the death' and the Sunrisers certainly were switched on.