Gayle at it again as Challengers crush Tuskers

Nine-wicket win pushes RCB to third

Gayle at it again as Challengers crush Tuskers

Once the Tuskers failed to exploit a bright start and stumbled to 125 for nine in 20 overs after electing to bat, it was clear that Royal Challengers Bangalore would not have too many issues in scaling down the target. The home team completed a nine-wicket win with ridiculous ease, and now have 13 points from 10 matches. The Challengers thus moved to third in the points table.

Two ruthless bullies -- Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan – unleashed the kind of mayhem that’s expected of them, and the Tuskers had no answers on Sunday at the Chinnaswamy stadium. Gayle announced his intentions clearly, smashing left-arm pacer Rudra Pratap Singh high over long-off in the first over and Dilshan took over from that point.

The new Sri Lankan skipper has been had a wretched run in the Indian Premier League so far, and Dilshan vented his full fury on the off-spin of Ramesh Powar, who came in for S Sreesanth. The sequence read 4, 4, 2, 0, 4, 6 and it also emphatically indicated Dilshan regaining his rhythm.

The sight of Dilshan hammering Powar might have prompted Gayle to go one step further, and the victim of his aggressive intentions was Prashanth Parameswaran. The left-arm pacer was on a high after claiming the coveted wicket of Virender Sehwag a few days back, but the Alleppey lad soon realised the dangers of bowling to Gayle.

The third over of the innings witnessed the slaughter of the innocent. Prashanth kept bowling in the swinging arc of Gayle and the merciless Jamaican was more than happy to accept the freebies. The frenetic hitting saw the ball keep disappearing into the deep corners of the stadium, and when the rage ended it read 6, 6+1 (nb), 6, 6, 4, 4, 4 for a total of 37 runs. Some hitting, indeed!

It took a bit of cheekiness from R Vinay Kumar to end the Gayle menace. The Karnataka right-arm pacer occasionally has been imitating the slinging action of Lasith Malinga for a while now, but without much success. However, it netted him the big fish on the day as Gayle, who charged down the track, lost his off-stump.

But that didn’t bring any respite to the Tuskers as Dilshan carried on wonderfully in the company of Virat Kohli, who made an unbeaten 27 during their second-wicket association worth 60. The Lankan right-hander notched up his second fifty (52 n.o, 31b, 8x4, 1x6) of IPL IV with comfort to guide the Challengers home, and a step closer to a berth in the knockout stage.

Earlier, the Tuskers made a start that belied their eventual total. Openers Brendon McCullum and Michael Klinger didn’t exactly blaze their way but showed excellent alacrity to punish the loose balls, and a few of them came their way early on in the innings.

Zaheer Khan and Gayle, who came on as the first-change bowler, either strayed down the leg-side or offered too much room on the off-side for the batsmen to push the scoring without much fuss. Sensing the batsmen’s comfort, Challengers skipper Daniel Vettori introduced himself from the North End, and the move paid immediate results.

Vettori flummoxed New Zealand team-mate McCullum with a well-flighted delivery that the latter scooped into the hands of substitute KB Arun Karthik, who replaced the injured Cheteshwar Pujara, at short third-man. The dismissal seemed to have destroyed the fighting spirit of the Tuskers, who produced a limp effort for the rest of their innings.

SCORE BOARD:

KOCHI TUSKERS KERALA: Michael Klinger b Gayle 24 (25b, 3x4), Brendon McCullum c (sub) Karthik b Vettori 22 (16b, 3x4), Parthiv Patel (run out) 19 (14b, 3x4), Mahela Jayawardene c de Villiers b Vettori 3 (7b), Brad Hodge c Zaheer b Arvind 5 (12b), Ravindra Jadeja c Kaif b Mithun 23 (22b, 2x4), Raiphi Gomez c Kohli b Arvind 7 (15b, 1x4), R Vinay Kumar c Vettori b Zaheer 3 (3b), Ramesh Powar (not out) 8 (6b), RP Singh (run out) 0 (0b), Prashanth Parameswaran (not out) 1 (1b). Extras (W-9, NB-1) 10. Total (for 9 wkts, 20 overs) 125.

Fall of wickets: 1-43 (McCullum), 2-64 (Clinger), 3-72 (Jayawardene), 4-73 (Patel), 5-89 (Hodge), 6-106 (Gomez), 7-115 (Vinay), 8-122 (Jadeja), 9-122 (RP Singh).
Bowling: Zaheer Khan 4-0-26-1, S Arvind 4-0-20-2 (w-1), Chris Gayle 4-0-26-1 (w-5), Daniel Vettori 4-0-24-2, A Mithun 3-0-21-1 (w-1, nb-1), Tilllakaratne Dilshan 1-0-8-0 (w-3).

Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 41/0; 10: 72/3; 15: 97/5; end of innings: 125/9 in 20 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 49/1.

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Chris Gayle b Vinay 44 (16b, 3x4, 5x6), Tillakaratne Dilshan (not out) 52 (31b, 8x4, 1x6), Virat Kohli (not out) 27 (33b, 3x4). Extras (LB-2, W-2, NB-1) 5. Total (for 1 wkt, 13.1 overs) 128.

Fall of wicket: 1-68 (Gayle).

Bowling: RP Singh 2-0-13-0 (w-2), Ramesh Powar 2-0-27-0, Prashanth Parameswaran 2.1-0-44-0 (nb-1), Vinay Kumar 3-0-18-1, Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-24-0.

Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 72/1, 10: 109/1, end of innings: 128/1 in 13.1 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 79/1.

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