AB, Gayle blast past Punjab
Chris Gayle (Gallo Images)
Mohali - Chris Gayle’s brutal 87 from 56 balls was the centrepiece, as the Royal Challengers Bangalore chased down their 164 target against the Kings XI Punjab, to win by five wickets on Friday.
Gayle spanked four sixes and eight fours, and chalked up an exquisite stand of 131 with AB de Villiers (52 off 39 balls), as the Royal Challengers reached 166 for 5, to seal victory with three balls to spare.
Earlier, Azhar Mahmood blasted 33 off just 14 balls, to give the Punjab attack 163 for 6 to defend. Having won the toss and elected to bowl, the Challengers started very well, with Zaheer Khan bowling Nitin Saini off the inside edge for 14.
Paul Valthaty looked out of sorts, and was put out of his misery by Khan, with the help of AB de Villiers at mid-off.
Aussie duo Shaun Marsh and David Hussey then added a brisk 30 in four overs, before Marsh was bowled by Andrew MacDonald for 26 off 17 balls. South African David Miller fell tamely for 8, caught at cover after being deceived by a slower ball from MacDonald.
Hussey, the skipper in place of the injured Adam Gilchrist, struck a fluent 41 off 34 balls, but when he fell with five overs to go, the Kings XI were still well short at 105 for 5.
Enter Mahmood, who clubbed three fours and two sixes, with Mandeep Singh also chipping in with 20 off 15 balls.
Khan and MacDonald both recorded fine figures of 2 for 25 in their four overs.
In reply, the Challengers started slowly, losing Arghawal and Virat Kohli in the first overs to be 8 for two. SS Tiwary then fell for 4, as Punjab struck again with the new ball.
But that brought together Bangalore’s big guns, and De Villiers and Gayle went about repairing the damage with brutal efficiency.
Gayle reached his half-century off a considered 41 balls, while De Villiers took 36 balls to reach the mark. Their 100 partnership was blitzed off just 62 balls, and by the time Gayle became one of Awana’s four victims, the match was as good as over.
De Villiers was trapped leg-before by Chawla before the end, but it was left to McDonald to smash the third ball of Mahmood’s final over to the fence for the win.
KINGS XI PUNJAB: PC Valthaty, N Saini (wk), SE Marsh, Mandeep Singh, DJ Hussey (capt), DA Miller, Azhar Mahmood, PP Chawla, P Awana, P Kumar, Harmeet Singh
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: AB McDonald, CH Gayle, MA Agarwal, V Kohli, AB de Villiers, SS Tiwary, KB Arun Karthik (wk), DL Vettori (capt), R Vinay Kumar, HV Patel, Z Khan