RCB spank Punjab by 138 runs
Bangalore: Opener Chris Gayle bludgeoned his way to an astonishing 57-ball 117 as Royal Challengers Bangalore hammered Kings XI Punjab by 138 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match, here tonight.
Punjab paid a heavy price for dropping Gayle twice — on 27 and 53 — as the left-handed Caribbean went on to hit his fifth IPL century and led his side to a mammoth 226 for three.
It was a humongous task for a demoralised Punjab to chase such a total and they capitulated under pressure. All they managed was just 88 in 13.4 overs.
It was second biggest win in IPL history by run-margin, only behind Kolkata Knight Riders’s 140-run victory over RCB in the 2008 edition.
Left-arm paceman Sreenath Aravind (4/27) rocked the Punjab top and middle-order while Mitchell Starc (4/15) polished off the lower-order.
Punjab batsmen inexplicably surrendered without any fight and were reduced to 34 for five in six over, with no chance of redeeming themselves.
When Starc (4/15) bowled his compatriot Mitchell Johnson and Anureet Singh in the ninth over, Punjab were gasping at 49 for 8 and staring at the lowest total of the tournament (58 by Rajasthan Royals in 2009).
But Axar Patel saved them blushes with a fighting unbeaten 40 off 21 balls.
With this win, Bangalore have enhanced their chances to make the Play-offs as they have jumped to third spot in the table with 11 points from 10 matches.
Before being caught and bowled by spinner Axar Patel, Gayle entertained the fans by hitting 12 sixes and seven fours as hapless Punjab players kept watching the shots soaring over their heads and vanishing in the stands.
With skipper Virat Kohli (32), Gayle shared a 119-run stand in just 11.2 overs and later with AB de Villiers (47 not out) he raised a 71-run partnership in just 5.4 overs.
Gayle completed his century by guiding a Johnson full-toss to square leg for four.
Only Anureet Singh managed respectable figures for Punjab. He did not take wickets but gave away just 25 runs in his four overs.
The Gayle carnage began in the second over of the match when Australian paceman Johnson pitched it up and was punished by the Caribbean, who creamed off 20 runs in that over with two sixes and two fours.
The burly Caribbean was in full flow and next to bear the brunt of his fury was Sandeep Sharma, who conceded 23 runs in the next over. Sandeep though had created a chance to get Gayle out after being hit for a six in the first ball. Skipper George Bailey dropped a skier at long-off next ball, running back. Gayle was on 27 at that time.
Bangalore crossed 50-run mark in just four overs even as Kohli was playing a second-fiddle from the other end. The Indian Test captain got into groove with two exquisite shots over extra cover.
Despite being denied a six off Anureet Singh when the ball on his shot touched the cable of the spider cam, Gayle completed his half-century off just 22 balls.
Gayle also completed 3000 runs in IPL with a single off Anureet in the eighth over. He is only fourth player do so.
Axar Patel could have got wicket of Gayle in his first ball but Manan Vohra, who replaced Virender Sehwag, dropped the Caribbean.
Gayle kept hitting monstrous hits but Kohli was bowled by Sandeep in the 12th over. De Villers played superbly, punishing the Punjab bowlers with seven boundaries.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 226 for 3 in 20 overs.
(Chris Gayle 117, AB de Villiers 47 not out; Sandeep Sharma 2/41).
Kings XI Punjab: 88 all out in 13.4 overs.
(Axar Patel 40 not out, Wriddhiman Saha 13; M Starc 4/15, S Aravind 4/27).
Player of the match – CH Gayle (Royal Challengers Bangalore)