Gayle flops with bat, shines with ball as RCB reach playoffs

RAIPUR, India, CMC – Chris Gayle flopped again with the bat but grabbed two wickets as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Carlos Brathwaite’s Delhi Daredevils by six wickets, to book their spot in the playoffs of the Indian Premier League here yesterday.

Virat  Kohli
Virat Kohli

Chasing 139 for victory at the International Cricket Stadium, Gayle was dismissed for just one but captain Virat Kohli extended his incredible run of form with an unbeaten 54, to see RCB home with 11 balls to spare.

They finished the preliminaries second on 16 points, just two behind table-toppers Gujarat Lions, with Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders also finishing on 16 points to be third and fourth respectively.

Sent in, Delhi rattled up 138 for eight off their 20 overs with opener Quinton de Kock stroking a top score of 60 off 52 balls and fellow South African gathering an unbeaten 27 from 18 deliveries.

Batting at number seven, Brathwaite scored just one before scooping a wide delivery from Gayle low to Australian Shane Watson at backward point, at 98 for six in the 15th over.

Gayle finished with two for 11 from two overs of his unpracticed off-spin.

In reply, RCB lost the 36-year-old Jamaican in the second over with the score on five, when he inside-edged an innocuous delivery from medium Morris onto his stumps.

For the West Indies star, it was his sixth single digit score in eight innings.

There were no such problems for his opener partner Kohli, however. He faced 45 balls and counted six fours as he sped to his sixth half-century of the season, to move to a massive 919 runs from 14 innings. He has also scored three centuries.

Seamer Brathwaite was economical, if not penetrative, finishing with one for 18 from 3.1 overs.

At Eden Gardens in Kolkata, West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine grabbed three wickets as Kolkata Knight Riders also clinched a spot in the playoffs with a 22-run victory over Sunrisers.

In pursuit of 172 for victory, Sunrisers were hurt by Narine’s spell of three for 26 from four overs, to finish on 149 for eight.


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