IPL 2013: Royal Challengers Bangalore crawl to 115/9 against Kolkata Knight Riders

Chris Gayle (right) was not even a shadow of his former self as he ambled on to 33 off 36 balls before being dismissed © IANS

By Jaideep Vaidya
 
Ranchi: May 12, 2013

The powerpacked Royal Challengers Bangalore batting line-up seemed to have gotten off on the wrong side of the bed as they painfully struggled their way to a lowly 115 for nine against the Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match.
 
Dark clouds were looming over the JSCA International Stadium Complex prior to the start of the match, as was a storm that went by the name of Chris Gayle. However, to KKR’s delight, both passed over and blew away as the home team basked in the glory of their inspired bowling effort.
 
Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir won the toss and decided to put Bangalore in to bat in the overcast conditions and on a pitch that looked difficult to score off. The visitors got off to a rather sedate start, reaching 14 for no loss in four overs.

Cheteshwar Pujara, not the most flamboyant of batsmen, went for the first aggressive shot of the innings in the fifth over and perished. The usually composed Bangalore opener stepped down and tried to drive Sachithra Senanayake over cover against the spin, but found the toe end of the bat and gave a simple catch to point.
 
Gayle was off to his now typical watchful starts, hitting his first six of the innings only in the ninth over. His fellow competitor for the Orange Cap, Virat Kohli, who was fresh from a 58-ball 99 against Delhi, meanwhile hit a couple of cracking boundaries and looked good for another big score. However, the RCB skipper tried to cut a Jacques Kallis that was too close to his body and ended up chopping it back onto his stumps, as RCB reached the halfway stage at 54 for two.
 
Gayle ambled on for a while, looking not even a shadow of his usual self, and then eventually got stumped off the bowling of Sunil Narine to make it 70 for three. It did seem as if someone had woken up the big Jamaican from a deep slumber just moments before the game and forced him onto the field with a bat in hand. Against the Pune Warriors earlier this season, he had reached a century in 30 balls. Today, those many balls could yield just 28 runs. Gayle was finally out for 33 off 36 deliveries, probably the only time in his career that his strike-rate was below 100.
 
Even AB de Villiers, popular for his late cameos, looked scratchy in his strokeplay. The South African hit Lakshmipathy Balaji for maximum over extra cover in the 16th over to give the RCB fans some hope of a late surge, but it would turn out to be a tease as he was caught behind next ball.

RCB then collapsed after de Villiers’s wicket and just about managed to avoid getting bowled out. But that wouldn’t be much of a compensation for a team whose batting has been the envy of many this season.
 
Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore 115 for 9 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 33, AB de Villiers 28; Sunil Narine 4 for 22, Jacques Kallis 2 for 17, Lakshmipathy Balaji 2 for 22) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.
 
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