Gayle finds his range as RCB break dry spell

Bangalore stall brave Gujarat charge

Gayle finds his range as RCB break dry spell

 It had taken a while to come but the Gayle Storm arrived exactly when the Royal Challengers Bangalore needed it the most.

RCB’s batting finally found its range at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium as Chris Gayle’s whirlwind knock helped the visitors notch up a 21-run win over a fighting Gujarat Lions on Tuesday.

Openers Gayle and Virat Kohli, with a partnership of 122, were the chief architects behind RCB’s massive total of 213 for two. Ending a lean patch, Gayle produced a brutal innings of 77 (38b, 5x4, 7x6) while Kohli struck a superb 64 (50b, 7x4, 1x6).

Gujarat Lions made a strong start to their chase courtesy the dangerous Brendon McCullum (72, 44b, 2x4, 7x6). The right-hander dealt in boundaries and his fearless approach kept Gujarat in the hunt. RCB however took a big step towards victory when Yuzvendra Chahal scalped McCullum in the 15th over and even a courageous 16-ball 39 from Ishan Kishan went in vain as the Lions were restricted to 192 for seven.

While Gayle — who came into the team after A B de Villiers was forced out due to an injury — was the cornerstone of RCB’s batting, Chahal (3/31), played his part too in RCB's second win, picking up the prized wickets of Suresh Raina, McCullum and Dwayne Smith. With four points, RCB are now placed sixth while Gujarat slipped to the eighth spot.

Kohli, who looked a bit edgy in the beginning, was the aggressor in the powerplay as Gayle played second fiddle. The skipper took on Dhawal Kulkarni in the third over and slammed three consecutive fours, the third one being a stylish straight drive. The openers made sure there were no early hiccups and piled up 50 runs in 41 balls.

Gayle switched gears in the eighth over, smacking two fours and as many sixes off Ravindra Jadeja. After a four past the bowler, Gayle made room and slammed another one over cover. He then followed it up with a huge six over mid-wicket.
Jadeja seemed to have had the last laugh when Gayle mis-hit the last ball of the over and McCullum pulled off a brilliant diving catch at long-off. However, after a third-umpire review, the left-hander was awarded six runs as McCullum’s hat had touched the boundary rope.

The over, in which the Challengers collected 21 runs, unveiled the destructive side of Gayle and it was a sign of things to come. He reached his half-century in style, with a 104-metre six of Shivil Kaushik. With the help of three fours and five maximums, Gayle crossed fifty and half-way through their innings, RCB had raced to 92 for no loss.

Gayle wasn’t done yet and runs came thick and fast for RCB. The left-hander was severe on his West Indies’ team-mate Dwayne Smith, hitting two flat sixes and he continued to showcase his might by striking two fours off Shivil, who endured a torrid day at the office.

Basil Thampi, the best bowler for Gujarat on the day, denied Gayle a century by dismissing him with a cracking yorker. Kohli took charge post Gayle’s departure to take RCB past the 150-run mark by the 15th over.

Thampi returned once again to stall the Challengers’ charge by getting the important wicket of Kohli. However, an entertaining 54-run alliance between Travis Head (30, 16b, 2x4, 1x6) — who stepped in for an injured Samuel Badree — and Kedar Jadhav (38, 16b, 5x4, 2x6) saw the visitors post a daunting total.

score board

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Chris Gayle lbw Thampi 77 (38b, 5x4, 7x6), Virat Kohli c Smith b Kulkarni 64 (50b, 7x4, 1x6), Travis Head (not out) 30 (16b, 2x4, 1x6), Kedar Jadhav (not out) 38 (16b, 5x4, 2x6). Extras (LB-1, W-3) 4. Total (for 2 wkts, 20 overs). 213. 

Fall of wickets: 1-122 (Gayle), 2-159 (Kohli). Bowling: Dhawal Kulkarni 4-0-37-1 (w-1), Basil Thampi 4-0-31-1, Andrew Tye 4-0-34-0, Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-57-0, Shivil Kaushik 3-0-36-0 (w-1), Dwayne Smith 1-0-17-0 (w-1).

GUJARAT LIONS: Dwayne Smith c Mandeep b Chahal 1 (4b), Brendon McCullum c Milne b Chahal 72 (44b, 2x4, 7x6), Suresh Raina c Watson b Chahal 23 (8b, 2x4, 2x6), Aaron Finch st Jadhav b Negi 19 (15b, 2x4, 1x6), Dinesh Karthik c Kohli b Arvind 1, Ravindra Jadeja (run out) 23 (22b, 2x4), Ishan Kishan c Chahal b Milne 39 (16b, 2x4, 4x6), Andrew Tye (not out) 6 (6b), Basil Thampi (not out) 0 (1b). Extras (LB-2, W-6) 8. Total (for 7 wkts, 20 overs) 192.

Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Smith), 2-37 (Raina), 3-103 (Finch), 4-106 (Karthik), 5-137 (McCullum), 6-167 (Jadeja), 7-191 (Ishan).

Bowling: Pawan Negi 4-0-21-1 (w-1), Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-31-3 (w-1), S Arvind 4-0-53-1 (w-1), Adam Milne 4-0-43-1 (w-3), Shane Watson 2-0-24-0, Travis Head 2-0-18-0.

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