Rampant Gayle spurs RCB to opening victory

BANGALORE, India, , CMC – Talismanic West Indies opener Chris Gayle welcomed the latest edition of the multi-million dollar Indian Premier League (IPL) with another scintillating innings to help Royal Challengers Bangalore start their campaign with a win here Thursday.

The left-hander blasted an unbeaten 92 from 58 balls as RCB, sent in by Kieron Pollard’s Mumbai Indians, posted a modest 156 for five from their allotted 20 overs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

In reply, Mumbai narrowly fell short by two runs, with ten runs required from the last over.

Entering the fray with four balls left in the innings, Pollard could only manage five not out from two balls.

Mumbai needed eight runs from the last two deliveries with Pollard on strike but though he blasted the first ball for four, he could only get a single to long-off off the final ball.

Gayle emerged from a slow start, where he managed just four runs from his first 12 deliveries, to count 11 fours and five sixes.

He reached his half-century off 38 deliveries with two consecutive boundaries off off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, and then paced his innings to anchor RCB to the end of their overs.

At the death, he tore into Munaf Patel, smashing 17 runs from the 18th over bowled by the Indian seamer and 16 from the final over.

Along the way, he posted 44 for the fourth wicket with Daniel Christian (4) and an unbroken 76 for the sixth wicket with Arun Karthik (19 not out), to pull RCB around from 31 for three.

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