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IPL T20 2011 – RCB vs KKR: Royal Challengers Crush Knight Riders With Gayle Ton

By on April 22, 2011

Royal Challengers Bangalore 175 for 1 (Gayle 102*, Balaji 1-43) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 171 for 5 (Gambhir 48, Aravind 2-37 ) by nine wickets…

Chris Gayle made a sparkling debut in the fourth season of the Indian Premier League as his unbeaten century helped Royal Challengers Bangalore defeat Kolkata Knight Riders by wickets at the Eden Gardens today evening. The win also came at the right time for RCB as this was only their second victory in six matches with one match being rained out; while it was the second consecutive loss for KKR.

Gayle, who replaced the injured Dirk Nannes in the RCB squad, has been engaged in a heated debate with the West Indies Cricket Board over his decision to play in the IPL instead of being considered for selection in the West Indies squad for the ODI series against Pakistan with the southpaw saying he decided to be part of the lucrative Twenty20 league only after finding out he was dropped from the squad for the first two matches.

The former West Indies captain chose to take out his frustration and anger on the hapless KKR attack as the target of 172 was with nine wickets and 11 balls to spare as RCB got their tournament back on track with a comprehensive win. Gayle, who hit the winning runs brought up his maiden IPL century, and the second scored in this tournament, with a boundary over covers off a Shakib Al Hasan delivery, remained unbeaten on 102 (55 balls, 10 boundaries and seven massive sixes).

Such was Gayle’s domination at the crease that even the normally aggressive Tillakaratne Dilshan took the back seat and enjoyed the view from the non-striker’s end before he was clean bowled by one of the few decent deliveries Lakshmipathy Balaji (1-43) bowled in the match. Dilshan was out for 38 after he and Gayle had put on 123 runs for the first wicket in 12.1 overs. In between, Gayle reached his half-century in 29 balls with five boundaries and four sixes as he was hardly tested by the KKR bowling attack. Gayle and Virat Kohli (30*) then added 52 runs in 36 balls for the second wicket to seal the win.

None of the KKR bowlers were able to make an impression on Gayle, and Gambhir surprisingly gave the ball to Iqbal Abdulla only in the 16th over of the RCB innings on the slow Eden track.

Earlier, Yusuf Pathan defied a troublesome knee to bat at number four and played a 24-ball cameo as his big-hitting abilities helped KKR regain the impetus at a crucial time in the second half of their innings against RCB.

Pathan came into bat at the fall of Jacques Kallis’s wicket with KKR 102 in 13.2 overs and the Baroda all-rounder made his intentions clear when he smashed J Syed Mohammad for a huge six over long on off just the sixth delivery he faced. He also hit sixes off RCB’s skipper Daniel Vettori and Sreenath Aravind. Yusuf, who was clearly hampered by his knee while running, also hit two of his three boundaries off Aravind before the bowler had him caught by Virat Kohli in the last over of the KKR innings. Pathan’s 46, Gambhir’s 48 and Kallis (40) helped KKR score 171 for 5 even as RCB’s new ball pair of Zaheer Khan and Aravind conceded 90 runs in the seven overs they bowled between themselves.

Zaheer (4-0-53-0) had a horrid time with the ball from the first ball of the match when Kallis got KKR’s innings away with a boundary before adding two more hits to the fence in the same over. The Indian left-arm bowler didn’t help his cause by bowling seven wides in the over, including a five-wide delivery as he conceded 19 runs in that over. Things went from bad to worse for RCB when Brad Haddin, playing in place of Brett Lee, hit a six and boundary off Aravind’s first over as KKR raced away to 33 for 0 in two overs. The introduction of spin in the form of Syed Mohammad slowed down the scoring rate and the left-arm spinner, who conceded only two runs in his first two overs, got rid of Haddin (18) when he had him caught by Kohli at point after the KKR openers had added 44 for the first wicket.

RCB’s spin bowlers continued to keep the Knight Riders’ batsmen in check on the slow Eden Gardens pitch even as Kallis found it difficult to keep the scoreboard ticking over after his fast start; fortunately for KKR, Gambhir took over the bulk of the run-scoring responsibilities and hit some sweetly timed boundaries in between as he also rotated the strike. Kallis was fortunate when AB de Villiers failed to stump him off Mohammad, but he was out soon after when Gayle, took a leaping catch at short extra cover to end the 58-run partnership between the South African and Gambhir. Aravind (2-37) then dismissed Gambhir when he had him caught by Dilshan at extra cover before Pathan hit him for a six and two boundaries in the same over.

Mohammad (1-20) and Vettori (1-28) were the pick of the RCB bowlers with Gayle, Dilshan and Kohli bowling four overs between themselves.

Source: Akshay Iyer, Yahoo! Cricket

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