Royal Challengers Bangalore 186-4 (Gayle 81) beat
Pune Warriors 182-6 (Uthappa 69) by 6 wickets
Indian Premier League, Bangalore
The Royal Challengers arrested their Indian Premier League 2012 slide with a last-ball six-wicket victory over the Pune Warriors in front of their home crowd.
As the rain poured down, they scored 24 from the final over to overcome Pune's score of 182 for six, which was set up by Robin Uthappa's 69.
For perhaps 90 percent of the game, Pune looked to be heading for victory but the Challengers refused to lie down and it was Saurabh Tiwary who clinched the win with a maximum down the ground to seal another dramatic comeback.
Batting first, the Pune Warriors carried on from where they had left in chasing a stiff target against the Chennai Super Kings. Openers Jesse Ryder (34) and Robin Uthappa (69) put on a stand worth 63 in seven overs; the best stand Pune have managed so far in the tournament.
Ryder muscled four fours and a six before he was brilliantly caught on the boundary by Mayank Agarwal as Harshal Patel took the first wicket to fall and Agarwal's safe hands were in action again soon after when Sourav Ganguly (6) was caught off Ranganath VInay Kumar.
Uthappa continued on his merry way, hitting nine fours and two sixes, playing with authority against his former team but he fell when he was caught by Patel off Bangalore captain Daniel Vettori. He had faced 45 balls.
Pune's innings was in danger of subsiding but it was revived by Marlon Samuels' knock of 34 in 20 balls, which included three sixes while Steve Smith (16) and Angelo Mathews (10) played handy cameos towards the end.
Kumar dismissed Mathews to return figures of two for 34.
Pune began strongly with th eball, sending back powerful batsmen Tillakaratne Dilshan for four and Agarwal for nine. Dilshan's scoop failed to come off and he was caught behind off Ashok Dinda before Samuels had Agarwal caught on the boundary by Mithun Manhas.
Virat Kohli struggled to find much rhythm and made 16 in 19 balls before he was caught by Rahul Sharma off Angelo Mathews before Gayle found his range.
He hit some early boundaries but exploded into action in the 13th over when he hit five successive sixes off Sharma, favouring the leg side and straight down the ground. One travelled 106 metres - the biggest of the tournament so far.
However, despite this stunning assault, the Challengers still needed 66 to win in 30 balls so sustained aggression was required.
Another six off the bowling of Ashish Nehra followed but the bowler had the last laugh when he speared a yorker past Gayle and into leg stump. The Jamaican had smashed 81 in 48 balls including four fours and eight sixes.
De Villiers and Tiwary worked hard to get the Challengers back into the game but despite some well-struck boundaries, they looked as if they had been left with too much to do. But the best was yet to come.
De Villiers hit Angelo Mathews for six with a reverse hit and Tiwary also cleared the ropes one ball later to leave them needing 28 to win in 12 balls. An excellent over from Dinda left the Challengers needing 21 from six deliveries but Nehra was unable to close out the game.
De Villiers improvised to hit a four and two sixes before Tiwary, needing three to win and two to tie as the rain began to pour, drilled the ball down the ground for a maximum.
De Villiers was unbeaten on 33 in 14 balls while Tiwary scored 36 in 23.
© Cricket World 2012