Bangalore Clinch Record-Equalling Sixth Straight Win

Bangalore Clinch Record-Equalling Sixth Straight Win
Bangalore Clinch Record-Equalling Sixth Straight Win
©REUTERS / Action Images

Royal Challengers Bangalore 151-1 (Gayle 70no) beat
Rajasthan Royals 146-6 (Aravind 3-34) by 9 wickets
Indian Premier League 2011, Jaipur

Royal Challengers Bangalore spoiled Shane Warne’s farewell party at Jaipur, winning by a huge nine wickets and three overs to spare. It was their sixth win in a row as Rajasthan’s chance of reaching the IPL 2011 play-offs are now only a remote mathematical possibility.

Chris Gayle was again the man to sparkle and it is no surprise that Bangalore haven’t lost a game since his addition to the squad. He blitzed his way to 77 not out off 44 balls with six fours and four sixes, but it wasn’t his usual strike as you see innings.

He waited for the loose balls on a pitch that was always slowing down and took his time settling down. In fact it was Tillakaratne Dilshan who set the initial pace, making 38 runs off 28 balls. He hit eight fours and was the lead partner in a first wicket stand of 68 runs that came in 6.4 overs.

The first 50 of them had come in only five overs and Bangalore never looked like losing from there on. After Dilshan was out in the tenth over, to Warne who took his last IPL wicket at Jaipur, Virat Kohli came in and stayed till the end with Gayle. The duo put on 83 runs in only 63 balls as the Royal Challengers rode to the finish line in fine style.

Kohli pulled a six off Pankaj Singh to signal the end and nearly making sure that his team would be in the play offs. He had led in Daniel Vettori’s absence today and didn’t disappoint.

Earlier, Rajasthan started off well after being put into bat by the visitors. Shane Watson and Rahul Dravid built a solid platform first up and the first wicket partnership was worth 73 runs. They were both going in fine fettle, Watson making 34 runs off 29 balls and Dravid scoring 37 off 31 balls. The Aussie opener hit three fours and two sixes, while Dravid made good with six boundaries.

Just when it seemed they would take Rajasthan to a seemingly good total on a slowing pitch, Sreenath Aravind struck a double blow in the tenth over. He removed Watson off the third ball and two balls later sent back Dravid.

It left the home team clutching at straws and needing to rebuild again. With that thought Johan Botha and Ajinkya Rahane coming out ahead of Ross Taylor, but it didn’t prove as successful as they had imagined. Rahane was run-out inexplicably and then Botha and Taylor perished while trying to force the pace. None of them or indeed the later batsmen crossed the 20-run mark and therefore Rajasthan Royals finished at 146 for six in their twenty overs, at least 25 runs short of what they would have liked.

Chetan Narula

© Cricket World 2011