IPL 2012: Royal Challengers Too Strong For Pune Warriors
Royal Challengers Bangalore 173-3 (Gayle 57) beat
Pune Warriors 138-9 (Vinay Kumar 3-32) by 35 runs
Indian Premier League 2012, Pune
Royal Challengers Bangalore cruised to a convincing 35-run win over Pune Warriors in a one-sided game 57 of the Indian Premier League 2012.
Half-centuries from openers Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan helped them score 173 for three before Pune could reach just 138 for nine in reply.
Ranganath Vinay Kumar took three wickets and there were two apiece for Zaheer Khan and Muttiah Muralitharan as Pune slumped to their tenth defeat of the season.
The Royal Challengers, however, moved into third place in the table with their third win on the bounce and the only thing they lost all day was the toss.
Nevertheless, Bangalore's all-star opening partnership of Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan did not disappoint and both men scored dashing half-centuries after being invited to bat first.
Gayle dominated both the partnership of 80 and the bowlers and struck six enormous sixes as well as hitting three fours as he extended his lead at the top of the run-scoring charts with a 24-ball half-century.
Gayle faced just 31 balls to make 57 while Dilshan blasted 53 in 44 balls with six fours and a six, their partnership broken when Gayle finally mistimed one and was caught by Manish Pandey off Angelo Mathews at long on.
Virat Kohli made nine before he was caught by Steven Smith, captaining the side in the absence of Sourav Ganguly, off the bowling of Rahul Sharma for nine.
Dilshan fell in the 18th over when he was run out by Alfonso Thomas but the innings finished strongly thanks to Saurabh Tiwary's unbeaten 36 in 30 balls and AB de Villiers hitting nine in four.
During an innings where batsmen dominated, Mathews' figures of nought for 14 in three overs deserve credit while Michael Clarke bowled one over for five runs as new captain Smith was given a tough baptism.
It got little better for the home side when they came out to bat. Their latest opening partnership of Mohnish Mishra and Clarke lasted four balls as Mishra was trapped in front by Zaheer Khan one ball after hitting him through the covers for four - his only scoring shot.
Two balls later Zaheer bowled Pandey, hitting the top of his off stump to reduce Pune to four for two at the end of the first over. Clarke hit a couple of boundaries but never really got into his stride, picking out Tiwary on the boundary off Ranganath Vinay Kumar having hit 13 in ten balls.
Robin Uthappa and Anustup Majumdar then joined together and kept Pune in the game with an enterprising 50-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Uthappa capitalised on some poor Bangalore bowling and made 38 in 23 balls before he was stumped by de Villiers trying to take on Muttiah Muralitharan.
Mathews (4) fell in the same way off the bowling of KP Appanna and Majumdar's effort of 31 in 26 balls ended when he was caught by Khan off Harshal Patel as the game rapidly slipped away from the Warriors.
Bhuveneshwar Singh (2) was bowled by Muralitharan and Kumar ripped out Alfonso Thomas's middle stump and the South African had to depart for seven.
Kumar was in stump-breaking mood again and he took Sharma's out of the ground with another accurate delivery. Smith and Krishnakant Upadhyay hit some lusty blows, but even they were not enough to ruin Kumar's day, the fast bowler returning three for 32.
Zaheer finished with two for 21 and Muralitharan two for 16.
© Cricket World 2012