Gayle tears apart Mumbai bowling attack
Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on champions Chennai Super Kings in Saturday's Indian Premier League final after in-form Chris Gayle blasted 89 to lift them to a 43-run victory over Mumbai Indians on Friday at the M A Chidambaram Stadium.
Gayle, the tournament's top scorer, tore apart the Mumbai bowling, hitting five sixes and nine fours in his 47-ball blitz which made 220 look like a possible total at one stage.
Put into bat, RCB rode on Chris Gayle's blistering 89 to post an imposing 185/4 and then put up a clinical bowling display to restrict Mumbai to 142/8 and set up a summit clash with defending champions Chennai Super Kings.
Image: Chris Gayle
Gayle signals intent in very first over
Gayle plundered 27 runs off the first over, sent down by Mumbai's surprise new ball choice Abu Nechim, to signal his intent and he shared a 113-run opening stand with Mayank Agarwal (41).
Taking a cue from his partner, young Mayank also clobbered Harbhajan Singh for a couple of boundaries through short third man in the second over.
Gayle took the Mumbai attack by the scruff of its neck and helped RCB amass 111 in first 10 overs.
Image: Chris Gayle
Munaf, Malinga given the treatment
Tendulkar then turned to Lasith Malinga but there was no respite for Mumbai as Gayle smashed his first ball through covers and then flicked one across the fine line boundary.
Mayank brought up the first fifty in 3.2 overs with a huge six over long on off Harbhajan and followed it up with a nice-looking four through point as RCB reached 57 in 4 overs.
Munaf Patel also rolled his arms but there was no difference in the result as Gayle clobbered him for a boundary between midon and midwicket and managed to pick up another four across short fine leg.
Image: Lasith Malinga with Rayudu
Gayle shows Rohit Sharma no mercy
Malinga pulled things a bit in the next over but Gayle was simply unstoppable as he blasted Patel across extra over for another four in the next over.
Rohit Sharma was then introduced into the attack but Mayank welcomed him with a four and a six as he bled 14 runs in the eighth over.
Gayle too continued his blitzkrieg punishing Pollard for another boundary in the next over to not only bring up the hundred for Bangalore but also reached his personal score of 52 in 27 balls.
Image: Chris Gayle
Impressive Mayank falls to Pollard
Pollard finally gave Mumbai something to cheer about after dismissing Mayank in the fourth ball of the 11th over but not before Rohit had dropped him in the first delivery.
However, there was no respite for Mumbai as Gayle blasted three sixes in the space of four balls spread across the 13th and 14th over.
The former West Indies skipper first sent Pollard soaring over long off in the last ball of the 13th over and then hammered Harbhajan over deep midwicket in consecutive balls as RCB reached 145 for one in 14 overs.
Image: Mayank Agarwal
De Villiers, Tiwary push total close to 200-run mark
The West Indian left-hander eventually fell to Munaf Patel in the 15th over and Mumbai bowlers did well to restrict Bangalore to 185 for four wickets.
Virat Kohli (8) also couldn't stay long and was sent packing by Nechim in the 16th over.
Malinga then pulled off a brilliant diving catch at short third man off Munaf to dismiss Luke Pomersbach (4) as Bangalore slipped to 157 for four in 16.2 overs.
However, AB de Villiers (21) and Saurabh Tiwary (8) stayed in the crease and took Bangalore close to the 200-mark.
Image: AB de Villiers
Sachin, Blizzard tackle Zaheer well
When they returned to chase what was still a formidable target, Mumbai required a strong start which they did not get.
Skipper Sachin Tendulkar had conjured up hopes of a successful runchase, blasting a 24-ball 40 but once he was dismissed, Mumbai Indians lost the plot completely.
Chasing 186 to win, Aiden Blizzard gave Mumbai a positive start hitting Zaheer Khan for a four past midon in the first ball and picked up another boundary four balls later.
Tendulkar also got into the act and blasted Sreenath Aravind for a couple of four across cover and over square leg boundary as Mumbai moved to 20 for two in two overs.
Image: Zaheer Khan
Gayle frustrates Blizzard
Opener Aiden Blizzard fell in the third over and Mumbai soon buckled under pressure, losing wickets at regular intervals.
Daniel Vettori pressed Gayle into the attack and the West Indies allrounder did well to frustrate Blizzard with his offbreak as Aravind dismissed him in the next over when he tried to play a slog shot over long on.
Promoted up the order, Harbhajan used his long handle well to clobber a couple of fours and a six but his 13-run cameo was cut short by Aravind in the sixth over with Pomersbach taking the catch at deep midwicket.
Image: Daniel Vettori with Chris Gayle
Syed Mohammad foxes Tendulkar
Tendulkar kept Mumbai in the hunt and picked up a couple of fours off Aravind and then sent Vettori across the long on boundary but spinner Syed Mohammad had the opener stumped, beating him in the flight in the eighth over to reduce the Mumbai outfit to 68 for three in eight over.
Tendulkar (40) provided resistance but once left-arm spinner Mohammad had him stumped in the eighth over, Bangalore had the match in the bag and Mumbai struggled to 142 for eight.
Image: Syed Mohammad (left) celebrates with Virat Kohli
Sharma, Rayudu disappoint
A lot was expected from Rohit Sharma (13) but the Mumbaikar disappointed by holing out to Pomersbach in the 11th over by Vettori.
Ambati Rayudu (0) too was trapped in front of wicket in his first ball, while Kieron Pollard's innings was cut short by a stunning catch by Abhimanyu Mithun as Mumbai slipped to 89 for six in 12.5 overs.
James Franklin (16) and Lasith Malinga (7) too couldn't stay long as the match slipped out of their fingers.
Image: Royal Challengers Bangalore players celebrate after defeating Mumbai Indians on Friday