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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Gilchrist's 106 keeps Punjab in play-offs race

Gilchrist's 106 keeps Punjab in play-offs race

May 17, 2011 23:24 IST

- Scorecard

Adam Gilchrist (106) smashed a breathtaking century and shared a record 206-run partnership with Shaun Marsh as Kings XI Punjab overwhelmed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 111 runs to keep themselves in the reckoning for the play-offs in the Indian Premier League.

The second-wicket partnership between Gilchirst and Marsh (79 not out) is the highest in Twenty20 cricket, and steered the Kings XI to a mammoth 232 for two, the highest total this season in the IPL, after electing to bat, at the HPCA stadium in Dharamsala on Tuesday.

The previous best partnership in T20 cricket was 170 runs for the first wicket, raised by South Africa's Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman against England in 2009.

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Punjab then broke Bangalore's seven-match winning streak by bundling them out for 121 in 17 overs. The victory margin is the second largest in the history of the IPL.

The previous best was by Kolkata Knight Riders, when they thrashed Bangalore by 140 runs in the 2008 edition.

It was Punjab's fourth win in a row and they need to beat Deccan Chargers in their last outing on Saturday and also hope that some other results go in their favour.

Punjab remain in fifth position in the table with 14 points but improved their net run-rate. It was -0.183; now, courtesy the big win, it is +0.271.

Bangalore, who have already qualified for the play-offs, remain on top with 17 points despite the defeat.

Big-hitting Chris Gayle had orchestrated many wins for Bangalore. They needed his magic again while chasing such a huge total. However, the West Indies batsman failed this time around.

Gayle could not even open his account today as Ryan Harris had him caught behind by Gilchrist.

Harris (3/28) also dismissed Virat Kohli (11) to make early in-roads and Bangalore buckled under pressure.

AB de Villiers (34) was the top scorer for Bangalore while Piyush Chawla (4/17) was the most successful bowler for Punjab, claiming four wickets.

Earlier, the chips were down for Punjab at one stage, as, after opting to bat, they had scored just 30 runs in the first six overs and lost opener Paul Valthaty (20). However, Gilchrist's power-hitting changed the face of their innings.

The Australian's whirlwind knock, his second century in the IPL, came off just 55 balls and was adorned with nine sixes and eight fours.

Gilchrist was well-supported by compatriot Marsh at the other end. The duo raised an incredible 226-run partnership for the second wicket.

It is the highest partnership, not only in the history of the IPL, but also in the Twenty20 cricket for any wicket.

It took Punjab to the highest total of the season. The previous best was 231 for four, which incidentally was scored by Delhi Dardevils, against Punjab.

Marsh's unbeaten 79 came off 45 balls; his knock was studded with 12 boundaries and five sixes.

The two Australians were on song and reduced the Bangalore bowlers to mere pedestrians with their brutal hitting.

Johan van der Wath was the most expensive bowler, conceding 50 runs in his quota of four overs, while Charl Langeveldt went for 48 runs and took both the wickets.

Valthaty yet again failed to convert a good start as he perished after sizzling for a while. He smashed Langeveldt for a six and two fours during his 17-ball stay but departed while going after the same bowler.

Conditions were helpful for the pacers and the Bangalore bowlers did extremely well by restricting Punjab to 30 runs in in the power-play period.

Gilchrist, who was surprisingly silent, launched Abhimnayu Mithun for a six over deep square leg and what followed was just magical for the 'hosts'.

Gilchrist and Marsh creamed Sreenath Aravind for 21 runs by hitting the bowler for a six and a four each.

A baffled Virat Kohli brought on spinner Chris Gayle for his second spell but there was no stopping Gilchrist, who hit the West Indian for two more, taking 15 runs from that over.

Next in the firing line was Langevedlt, who was hit for three sixes, including the biggest six of the tournament -- 122 metres. The third one brought up the fifty for the Australian.

Marsh then made his presence felt by hammering Wath for 30 runs, punishing the South African with three sixes and as many fours, and also completed his fifty in the process.

Gilchrist then hit the same bowler for a six and four to raise the team's 200 in the 18th over.

The Punjab skipper completed his century with a four off Langeveldt off the third ball of the last over and was out to the penultimate delivery.

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