KOLKATA, India, CMC – Talismanic West Indies left-hander Chris Gayle smashed his fourth half-century in six innings and surpassed 300 runs for another Indian Premier League season but his Royal Challengers Bangalore suffered a 47-run defeat at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders here yesterday.
Chasing Kolkata’s 190 for four at Eden Gardens, Royal Challengers were restricted to 143 for six off their 20 overs, with only Gayle showing any enterprise with a superb 86 from 58 balls.
The visitors were strangled by West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine who was brilliant in four stingy overs as he conceded just 11 runs and took one wicket.
Narine, who also starred in the recent limited overs series against Australia in the Caribbean, befuddled RCB’s batsmen with his variations to dry up the run rate.
South African medium pacer Jacques Kallis was the leading bowler with two for 31.
Royal Challengers lost Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan for one in the first over with the score on two and never recovered.
It was left to Gayle to keep the innings alive and he did so admirably, striking seven fours and six sixes in another magnificent effort.
He put on 43 for the fourth wicket with Saurabh Tiwary (19), 35 for the fifth wicket with Mayank Agarwal (10) and a further 31 for the sixth wicket with captain Daniel Vettori (four not out).
However, his partners were all tied down by Narine and Indian seamer Yusuf Pathan whose four overs cost 19 runs.
Earlier, opener Gautam Gambhir punished Royal Challengers’ bowling with a scintillating 93 off 51 balls to lead his side’s effort, after they opted to bat first.
At the MA Chidambaram Stadium, West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo turned in a solid performance with bat and ball but could not prevent his Chennai Super Kings from a seven-run loss to Kings XI Punjab.
Bravo took two for 28 with his medium pace to help limit Kings XI to 156 for eight from their allotted overs, after they chose to bat first.
The Trinidadian then cracked 30 from 21 balls with two sixes as Chennai finished on 149 for eight after requiring 17 runs from the last over.