Gayle sizzles again as Bangalore set 186 for win

Bangalore batsman Chris Gayle on his way to 89 of 47 balls during their IPL second qualifer match against Mumbai AFP

By Suneer Chowdhary

Chennai: May 27, 2011

Chris Gayle had failed against the Chennai Super Kings in the first Qualifier and the Royal Challengers Bangalore had lost. Normal service returned in the second Qualifier with Gayle teeing off in his inimitable self, scoring a 47-ball 80 and leading Bangalore to 185 for four in their 20 overs.

A clueless, hapless and dare one say, tactic-less Mumbai Indians looked on like pedestrians watching a magic show and their body language sapped very early.

It was as early as in the first over actually. For some strange reason, the Mumbai Indians decided to open the bowling with Abu Nechim and Gayle needed no second invitations. Gayle took a ball to get used to the conditions and after that, it was carnage for all the time he was there. He hit three fours and a six in the opening over to go with five wides and Bangalore were off to 27 for no loss after one.

The next four overs in the Powerplay, all went for aplenty. Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga conceded a couple of boundaries each in their opening overs and then Gayle s opening partner Mayank Agarwal slammed a six and a four in Harbhajan s second. Munaf Patel s introduction made no difference to Gayle, who pulled and inside-edged two to the fence and it was only after Malinga had conceded one in the second over that there was some respite. Bangalore were 68 without loss at the end of the fielding restrictions.

The problem for Mumbai Indians was that the run-rate did not drop even after the sixth over, what did go down were the Mumbai shoulders.

An experiment to bowl Rohit Sharma failed as Agarwal hit another six and a four while Gayle brought up his half-century (27 balls) in Kieron Pollard s first over and the ninth of the innings.

Pollard finally got the breakthrough for the Mumbai Indians in the 11th over but by then the Bangalore side had got to 114 and looked on track for a 200-plus score. There was a period of 11 balls after this wicket that went for only 19 runs but once Pollard had been hit for a six by Gayle in the 13th over, another couple of them were sent over the fence in the next over.

At 145 for one in 14 overs, Bangalore looked to have taken the game far away from the Mumbai Indians, before a collapse ensued. First, it was Gayle who attempted to clear the field again but was caught superbly by James Franklin off Munaf before Abu Nechim had Virat Kohli bowled and then Malinga dived to his right to pull off a ripper to send back Luke Pomersbach. Gayle had missed his third century in IPL this season by 11 runs.

From 148 for one, Bangalore had collapsed to 157 for four in a span of 10 balls, thus slowly the run-rate down as well. AB de Villiers slammed a six but it was a relatively quieter last four overs that took Bangalore to more than 180 in their 20 overs, a challenging total on a pitch that had seen the ball stop while coming on to the bat after getting a bit older.

Brief scores: RCB 185 for 4 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 89, Mayank Agarwal 41; Munaf Patel 2 for 27, Kieron Pollard 1 for 24)

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