Gayle force opens door to final for Bangalore

Jamaican hammers 89 as Mumbai Indians crumble

Gayle force opens door to final for Bangalore

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Daniel Vettori (right) celebrates with AB de Villiers (left) and Virat Kohli after picking a wicket in their Qualifier 2 match against Mumbai Indians at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Friday. APWith a power-packed all-round display that defending champions Chennai Super Kings would have taken note of, the Challengers brushed aside Mumbai Indians by 43 runs in Qualifier 2 at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Friday night, the commanding margin amply indicative of the gulf in performance between the teams on the day.

The Challengers might have been a touch disappointed at managing only 185 for four after being sent in by Sachin Tendulkar, especially given the blistering start provided by Gayle and Mayank Agarwal, but they had little reason for worry once the bowlers, and particularly the spin triumvirate of skipper Daniel Vettori, Syed Mohammad and Gayle cashed in on the early breakthroughs provided by left-arm paceman S Arvind.

Only briefly, when Tendulkar threatened to make it a contest all on his own, did the Indians appear in with an outside chance. Once left-arm spinner Mohammad, brought in for Mohammad Kaif, produced a peach that spun across the maestro’s bat and set up a simple stumping for AB de Villiers, the fight went out of the Indians, who limped to 142 for eight when they ran out of time.

The Challengers decision to go with the extra spinner paid rich dividends, particularly given that the spinners were bowling second in the game with the cushion of a huge run-bank at their disposal. Between them, the three tweakers took five for 55 in 11 overs, Vettori the stand-out with three for 19 from his four overs, as the Indians stumbled right from the off.

Initial damage

Arvind did the initial damage with the scalps of Aiden Blizzard and the strangely promoted Harbhajan Singh, but it was Mohammad who effectively killed the game off. Tendulkar appeared in the mood, taking a special liking to Arvind, but Mohammad dropped it a little short and got the ball to rip away as he saw the right-hander advancing, leaving Tendulkar, and the Indians, hopelessly stranded.

The rest didn’t so much as raise a flutter, Abhimanyu Mithun’s outstanding catch to get rid of the dangerous Kieron Pollard on the long-off fence symbolising the drive and desire of the Challengers.

Gayle had been the first to exhibit those facets with another marauding essay, his first-over mauling of Abu Nechim Ahmed setting the tone for the rest of the innings. The hapless paceman went for 27 – Gayle picking up 20 including three fours and a six – as the Challengers got on the bike and sped away.

Only in brief patches, with the admirably Lasith Malinga in the forefront, did the Indians staunch the bleeding. Otherwise, Gayle and Agarwal – playing his best knock of the competition – did as they pleased on a very good batting strip, hitting through the line, along the turf and in the air as they put on 113 (64b) for the first wicket.

Nechim had Harbhajan for company in the high economy stakes, Gayle picking the off-spinner up and depositing him over the ropes twice in successive deliveries as he thoroughly entertained a disappointingly sparse gathering. A third IPL IV century beckoned when he was well caught by James Franklin at the long-on fence, immediately after which the Challengers’ innings lost momentum.

Going at 10 an over for the first 15, they added just 35 in the last five, Saurabh Tiwary again the prime culprit as he struggled to get the ball off the square. The Indians might have thought they had a faint sniff, but their hopes were rudely dashed by a brilliant display on the field by a charged-up Challengers.

Scoreboard

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Mayank Agarwal c Rohit b Pollard 41 (31b, 4x4, 2x6), Chris Gayle c Franklin b Patel 89 (47b, 9x4, 5x6), Virat Kohli b Nechim 8 (12b), AB de Villiers (not out) 21 (15b, 1x6), Luke Pomersbach c Malinga b Patel 4 (4b), Saurabh Tiwary (not out) 8 (12b). Extras (W-13, NB-1) 14. Total (for 4 wkts, 20 overs) 185.

Fall of wickets: 1-113 (Agarwal), 2-148 (Gayle), 3-151 (Kohli), 4-157 (Pomersbach).
Bowling: Abu Nechim Ahmed 4-0-56-1 (w-10, nb-1), Harbhajan Singh 4-0-40-0 (w-1), Lasith Malinga 4-0-24-0, Munaf Patel 4-0-27-2, Rohit Sharma 1-0-14-0, Kieron Pollard 3-0-24-1 (w-2).

Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 67/0; 10: 111/0; 15: 150/2; end of innings: 185/4 in 20 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 68/0.

MUMBAI INDIANS: Aiden Blizzard c Agarwal b Arvind 10 (11b, 2x4), Sachin Tendulkar st De Villiers b Mohammad 40 (24b, 7x4), Harbhajan Singh c Pomersbach b Arvind 13 (7b, 1x4, 1x6), Rohit Sharma c Pomersbach b Vettori 13 (15b, 1x4), James Franklin b Zaheer 16 (17b, 1x4), Ambati Rayudu lbw Vettori 0 (1b), Kieron Pollard c Mithun b Vettori 3 (6b), R Sathish (not out) 18 (21b, 1x4), Lasith Malinga c Pomersbach b Mohammad 7 (5b, 1x6), Abu Nechim Ahmed (not out) 18 (13b, 1x4, 1x6). Extras (LB-2, W-2) 4. Total (for 8 wkts, 20 overs) 142.

Fall of wickets: 1-23 (Blizzard), 2-41 (Harbhajan), 3-68 (Tendulkar), 4-82 (Rohit), 5-83 (Rayudu), 6-89 (Pollard), 7-99 (Franklin), 8-110 (Malinga).

Bowling: Zaheer Khan 4-0-32-1 (w-1), S Arvind 3-0-27-2 (w-1), Chris Gayle 3-0-11-0, Abhimanyu Mithun 2-0-26-0, Daniel Vettori 4-0-19-3, Syed Mohammad 4-0-25-2.

Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 41/1; 10: 80/3; 15: 103/7; end of innings: 142/8 in 20 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 52/2.

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