Chris Gayle pulverizes Kolkata Knight Riders, Bangalore win by 8 wickets

Chris Gayle hammered Kolkata Knight Riders as Bangalore beat Kolkata by eight wickets © AFP

By Sarang Bhalerao

Bangalore: Apr 11, 2013

How often have we seen this? And how often are we going to see that? At M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore there was a tornado. A southpaw from West Indies was hell-bent on taking the leather off the cricket ball. Royal Challengers Bangalore’s talismaniac man Chris Gayle powered his side to a comfortable eight–wicket win against defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the 12th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Gayle’s innings of was punctuated by four fours and nine sixes.

The feature of Gayle’s batting, not for the first time, was his cautious approach at the start. After five overs Bangalore scored 21 runs and lost Mayank Agarwal. Virat Kohli played a maiden over [the fifth over of the innings] off Jacques Kallis. Bangalorewere on the lookout for a momentum shift. McLaren was carted for 22 overs in the sixth over of the innings. Kohli started the procession with two boundaries and Gayle finished the carnage with two his patented six over mid-wicket and a massive six over covers.

Pradeep Sangwan, who was preferred ahead of Mohammad Shami , bowled the ninth over of the innings [his first] , and was hammered. Gayle smashed Sangwan for a boundary – a vintage shot past covers; Kohli then took the centre-stage and hit Sangwan for a couple of pulls –  over mid-wicket and over fine-leg for a couple of sixes and 19 runs were scored.

Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli in full song – and in the matter of minutes the game just slipped from defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders’ hands.

Kohli was dismissed in the 10th over for 35; but that was the last bit of optimism for Kolkata as the Gayle show derailed them. Along with AB de Villiers (22), and  Gayle saw the team through.

Kolkata lost wicket off their first over when Manvinder Bisla cut Moises Henriques to point. But Gautam Gambhir and Jacques Kaliis’ entertained Kolkata’s pursuit of getting a big score on the board, in order to put the pressure on the home side. Kallis got out in the ninth over for 16.

Yusuf Pathan walked in at No. 4. The first three balls off his innings from Vinay Kumar went for boundaries – a straight hit over the top of the in-field, vintage cut and a wristy flick. A six-over mid-wicket off Unadkat in the 12th over, and things looked ominous for Bangalore.

Gambhir and Pathan provided Kolkata a solid platform stitching together 41 off 28 deliveries. Pathan’s cameo was interrupted in the 13th over, when he was caught at long-on trying to up the ante off Henriques. Pathan scored a quickfire 27. A solid base was set up for the final assault.

Gambhir and Manoj Tiwary, then put 29 before a flurry of wickets – Gambhir, Eoin Morgan and Tiwary in a matter of 10 deliveries stalled Kolkata’s momentum.

RP Singh was the pick of the bolwers picking 3 for 27, while Moises Henriques and Vinay Kumar picked up two wickets each.

Bangalore looked scratchy in the field. In the fourth over of the innings Jayadev Unadkat, troubled Kallis with his changes of pace. Off the fifth ball, Kallis hit the ball straight to mid-wicket. Kohli fired a return at non-strikers end and Muralitharan failed to intercept the throw that allowed four easy runs to Kolkata.
RP Singh conceded four overthrows, second act of benevolence, immediately after Gambhir’s dismissal.

But it was a day when Gayle made belligerence look beautiful, so Bangalore were spared.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 154 for 8 in 20 overs (Gautam Gambhir 59, Yusuf Pathan 27; RP Singh 3 for 27) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 158 for 2 in 17.3 overs (Chris Gayle 85*) by eight wickets.

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(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter @bhaleraosarang)