BANGALORE, India, CMC – Discarded West Indies opener Chris Gayle sparkled but only briefly as his Royal Challengers Bangalore started their Champions League Twenty20 campaign with a three-wicket loss to Warriors here yesterday.
The left-handed Gayle, once again ignored by West Indies selectors for next month’s Test and One-Day tour of Bangladesh, smashed 23 off 14 balls as RCB tallied 172 for eight after being sent in at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
In reply, opener Ashwell Prince stroked a top score of 74 and Wayne Parnell hit two runs off the last ball of the innings, to wrap up a nervy victory for the South African unit.
RCB lost Mayank Agarwal without scoring to the fourth ball of the match but Gayle re-launched the innings in typical high energy style, whacking the third ball of the second over from opening bowler Rusty Theron (4-29) over cover for six.
He slammed the final ball of the over through cover for another four before tearing into Lonwabo Tsotsobe in the next over, smashing the left-arm seamer for another six and a four.
Gayle perished in the next over, however, taken brilliantly at mid-on by Johan Botha off pacer Parnell at 34 for two.
Virat Kohli top scored with 34 from 29 balls and AB de Villiers got 31 from 25 balls but RCB struggled to string meaningful partnerships together.
In reply, Prince held the Warriors innings together, stroking six fours and three sixes off 55 balls before being fifth out at 155 in the penultimate over, with victory in sight.
It was Botha’s cameo 42 from 24 balls, however, with two fours and three sixes, that virtually took his side over the line.