Gayle sparkles as RCB win to keep playoff hopes alive

RANCHI, India, CMC – Chris Gayle sparkled but in-form Dwayne Smith suffered a rare failure, as Royal Challengers Bangalore kept their Indian Premier League playoff hopes alive with a five-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings here today.

Chasing a modest 139 at the JSCA International Stadium Complex, RCB managed the ten runs required for victory off the last over, to post their fifth win of the campaign and move into fifth spot in the standings on ten points.

Gayle was at the heart of RCB’s successful run chase, striking a top score of 46 to give the visitors momentum early in their innings.

Batting on a difficult pitch, the left-handed West Indies star faced 50 balls and crunched three fours and three sixes, and added 61 with captain Virat Kohli who hit 27.

When Kohli fell at the start of the 15th over, Gayle then added a further 35 runs with AB de Villiers (28) before he finally departed, bowled by off-spinner Ravi Ashwin (2-16) in the 17th over.

De Villiers followed at the end of the 18th, setting up a tense finish before RCB pulled it off a ball to spare.

West Indies leg-spinner Samuel Badree sent down a tight spell, with his three overs costing just 15 runs.

Earlier, Smith scored just nine at the top of the order as Chennai, opting to bat first, reached 138 for four off their 20 overs.

Suresh Raina top-scored with 62 not out from 48 balls, counting six fours and one six.

At the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, Sunil Narine’s Kolkata Knight Riders chased down 143 to beat the Darren Sammy-led Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets with two balls to spare.

Narine was his usual frugal self, claiming one for 21 from his overs to help restrict Sunrisers to 142 for eight off their 20 overs. Sammy scored just seven.

KKR was then lifted by opener Robin Uthappa’s top score of 40 to reach 146 for three.

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