Chris Gayle came up with yet another scintillating knock on Thursday. His unbeaten 85 gave Royal Chalengers Bangalore a convincing eight-wicket victory over defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in a Pepsi Indian Premier League match in Bangalore.
Chasing a decent target of 155, 'Gayle storm' struck KKR hard and RCB knocked off the runs with 15 balls to spare.
It was RCB’s third victory in four matches, while KKR suffered their second defeat, having lost to Rajasthan Royals earlier in the week.
The Jamaican, who is in prolific touch, got his runs off only 50 deliveries, hitting four boundaries and nine sixes.
It is no surprise that he heads the 'Maximum Sixes' list with 14.
Gayle added 83 runs for the unbeaten third wicket partnership with AB de Villiers (22 not out), who played second fiddle to perfection.
He also added 63 runs for the second wicket with skipper Virat Kohli (35), who was involved in an ugly on-field spat with rival captain Gautam Gambhir after he got out.
However, the evening belonged to West Indies ace as almost all the
KKR bowlers, except Sunil Narine who only gave away 17 runs in his four overs, suffered under his assault.
The ploy to include Delhi left-arm seamer Pradeep Sangwan backfired badly as he leaked 34 runs in only two overs which turned the match in RCB's favour.
Gayle has employed a different tactic in this IPL. He not only attacks the bowlers during the Powerplay but is brutal in his strokeplay during the back-10 too.
With good support from Kohli and De Villiers, and wickets in hand, it was easy for him to launch during the latter part of the innings.
Earlier, Gambhir struck a 46-ball 59 to propel KKR to 154 for eight after being out in to bat. He shared a 51-run stand with Yusuf Pathan (27 off 17 balls) as the RCB bowlers struck regularly at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.
Other KKR batsmen -- Jacques Kallis (16) and Manoj Tiwary (23) -- batted well but could not convert the starts into big knocks.
Gambhir survived a run-out after a mix-up with Kallis when he was on one. He cut the ball to point and set off for a single but his partner was not interested in the run.
He was was lucky; a better throw from Kohli would have seen his back early on. He then cracked two magnificent boundaries off R P Singh.
Gambhir looked like he had a plan to unsettle legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. He hit two consecutive boundaries in the Sri Lankan’s first over.
First, he came down the wicket and drove through covers and then went down on his knees to loft the ball to the long-on fence.
Gambhir survived yet another run-out after the third umpire ruled that the wicketkeeper had not collected the ball cleanly before breaking the stumps. He then reached his 17th.
IPL fifty by gently nudging Jaydev Unadkat to third man.
After crashing Unadkat for a six, he top-edged Vinay Kumar for the bowler to take a return catch.
Having failed in the last two games, Pathan began with a bang, smacking three consecutive boundaries off Vinay Kumar. He then lined up Jaydev Unadkat for a six over the deep mid-wicket fence, but he could not last long as he was caught by Vinay Kumar off Henriques.
Eoin Morgan followed suit as he was out to the fifth ball for two off R P Singh.