BANGALORE, India, CMC – Chris Gayle struck his first half-century of the Indian Premier League season as Royal Challengers Bangalore crushed Kings XI Punjab by 82 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method here yesterday.
Playing at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, RCB piled up 211 for three in a rain-hit game reduced to 15 overs before limiting Kings XI to 120 for nine off 14 overs.
The West Indies left-hander stroked an aggressive 73 from 32 deliveries as he put on a scintillating 147 for the first wicket with captain Virat Kohli who smashed his fourth century of the season in carving out a brilliant 113. Sent in, Gayle helped get the innings off to a flying start by pummelling four fours and eight sixes, in a whirlwind knock.
Having ended a run of five single digit scores on Monday with 49 against Kolkata Knight Riders, Gayle picked up where he had left off.
He smashed two sixes and a four off the fourth over of the innings from fast bowler Kyle Abbott which cost 18 runs and also tore into leg-spinner KC Cariappa in the next over which also leaked another 18 runs, as RCB raced to 53 without loss after five overs.
Gayle kept up the fireworks with a pair of sixes off left-arm spinner Axar Patel in the ninth over and drilled another three in the bowler’s next over – the 11th of the innings – before perishing off the final delivery.
Attempting a fourth six, Gayle holed out to David Miller at long off.
On 69 at the time, Kohli motored to three figures in the penultimate over of the innings, hitting 12 fours and eight sixes off exactly 50 balls, all told.
In reply, Wriddhiman Saha was the only batsman to make it past 20 with 24 as Kings XI found themselves undermined by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal who finished with four for 25.
With the win, RCB moved up to second on 14 points, just two behind leaders Sunrisers Hyderabad.