All-rounder Gayle stars in massive Bangalore win

Bangalore players celebrate the fall of a wicket during their IPL match against Punjab AFP

By Suneer Chowdhary

Bengaluru: May 6, 2011

Single-handedly, Chris Gayle helped the Royal Challengers Bangalore beat the Kings XI Punjab. And that is, literally speaking.

The Jamaican smashed 107, Punjab scored only 120 in their 20 overs. The win-margin was 85 runs and for good measure, he captured three wickets as well, pushing Punjab down in the points table.

Once the Kings XI Punjab were chasing 206 to win their fourth match in the competition, their only chance to get anywhere close was to have Adam Gilchrist and Paul Valthaty repeat the magic from their Chennai win.

Instead, Gilchrist was run-out off the very first ball of the innings to a superb one-handed throw from mid-on by Asad Pathan and it was all downhill from there.

Abhishek Nayar s promotion to the top of the order failed to bear fruits either, as Sreenath Aravind got him to flick it to the square-leg fielder. Punjab were five for two at this stage.

Valthaty gave the side their only few moments of cheer as he hit three boundaries off successive balls in the third over but Gayle began to weave his magic with the ball when he only managed to turn it straight into the hands of square-leg.

Aravind s slower ball took care of the other man in form, Shaun Marsh, while Sunny Singh, Dinesh Karthik and Piyush Chawla were all consumed in a span of three overs. Gayle had Karthik lbw and Chawla bowled to finish with 3 for 21, affording the adjudicators, one of the easiest decisions on who the man of the match was.

Aravind ended with a four-wicket haul and apart from a 37-run stand for the eighth wicket, the rest of the side was dismissed for next to nothing.

Earlier, Gayle treated the smattering of the home crowd with his second IPL century in four games to propel Bangalore to 205 for six in their 20 overs. And as one would have expected, the knock came in double-quick time, emulating Sehwag s century yesterday.

After a slowish start, where Ryan Harris started off with a maiden over and Praveen Kumar conceded only 14 off his two, the Jamaican exploded in his usual way.

Harris was smashed for two sixes in a row before Tillakaratne Dilshan finished the over off with a couple of boundaries. Ryan McLaren got Dilshan soon after for 16 (four boundaries) but it was only a signal for Gayle to go after the bowling and harder.

Praveen Kumar was smacked for two sixes and a couple of fours in the eighth over by Gayle to get him to his half-century off 28 balls.

Piyush Chawla was greeted on to the crease with another couple of massive hits, second of which brought up the team s 100 in the tenth over. And even when Gayle was not hitting the sixes, he was doing his next favourite thing, bull-dozing them away for fours.

Love Ablish was hit for three successive ones in the 11th over before Abhishek Nayar was lofted into the stands.

Gayle s century came off 46 balls and by the time he was dismissed, Bangalore had breached the 150-mark in the 15th over. He was finally dismissed by Chawla for 107.

AB de Villiers provided the finishing touches to the score with an unbeaten 27 off 14 balls as the side ended on 205 for six in 20 overs.

Royal Challengers Bangalore got in Asad Pathan in place of left-arm spinner Syed Mohammad while Ablish and McLaren were selected in the Punjab side.

Brief Scores: RCB 205 for 6 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 107, AB de Villiers 27*; Ryan Harris 3 for 38, Piyush Chawla 2 for 37) bt KXIP 120 for 9 in 20 overs (Ryan McLaren 28, Paul Valthaty 21; S Aravind 4 for 15, Chris Gayle 3 for 21) by 85 runs.

Man of the Match: Chris Gayle

Full Scorecard

(Suneer is a Mumbai-based cricket writer and can be contacted at suneerchowdhary@gmail.com and Tweets here @suneerchowdhary)