21st May: Chennai Super Kings v M. Indians, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
Royal Challengers Bangalore 215-1 beat
Delhi Daredevils 194-9 (Taylor 55) by 21 runs
Indian Premier League 2012, Delhi
A Gayle-storm hit Delhi as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat the Delhi Daredevils by 21 runs in game 67 of the Indian Premier League 2012.
Chris Gayle's belligerent hundred paved the way for an important win ahead of the play-offs, especially on a day when Chennai Super Kings lost to Kings XI Punjab in the earlier game.
Delhi rested Virender Sehwag and Morne Morkel, and were led by Mahela Jayawardene who won the toss and elected to field first. The decision backfired as Gayle went on a mad six-hitting spree, smacking 13 overall, rampaging the Delhi bowling.
The Royal Challengers made a slow start as they lost Tillakaratne Dilshan in the third over as the score read 11 for one. From there on though, Gayle and Virat Kohli didn’t give a sniff to the home team.
The duo were involved in a mammoth 204-run partnership for the second wicket, and the runs came in an astonishing 106 balls. It is the highest partnership for any wicket in this year's IPL, as also the highest number of runs scored for the second wicket.
Overall, theirs was the second-highest partnership for any wicket, only two runs short of the 206 runs put up by Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh for Kings XI Punjab against Bangalore, at Dharamsala last year. Gilchrist and Marsh had also put on those runs for the second wicket.
As mentioned, Gayle sent the ball over the boundary 13 times. He was severe on left-arm bowlers Pawan Negi and Irfan Pathan, hitting them for four and three sixes respectively. He also hit two sixes each off Andre Russell and Umesh Yadav, as well as a six each off Varun Aaron and Yalaka Venugopal Rao.
Gayle struck seven fours as well although they paled in comparison with the balls he hit for six. He completed his first hundred in the tournament, a feat he had threatened seven times earlier, scoring 128 runs off 62 balls. In the process he went past both the 600 and 700 runs mark, once again taking control of the Orange Cap.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli hit his second half-century of the season, finishing unbeaten with 73 runs off 53 balls at his home ground. He hit nine fours and one six. Gayle too remained not out in the end as Bangalore finished with a huge 215 for one in their 20 overs.
It goes to show how brutal their batting was when Varun Aaron with figures of 1 for 38 from four overs and an economy of 9.50 was Delhi’s best bowler.
In reply, Delhi's hands were always tied as they didn’t have Sehwag in their ranks. Unmukt Chand opened with David Warner and the two gave a speedy start, but it didn’t work out.
Warner was out for 15 off nine balls with two fours and one six, while Chand was out for 18 off ten. Delhi were 45 for two in the fifth over and although Venugopal Rao tried to speed the innings up with a fine 36 off 24 balls, hitting four fours and one six, the asking was too much.
At the other end, Jayawardene fell for only nine runs. Ross Taylor finally found some form, hitting his first fifty of the season, scoring 55 off 26 balls. He hit seven fours and two sixes, finally getting some runs ahead of the knockouts.
Of the late-order batsmen, Andre Russell struck some lusty blows towards the end, his 31 runs coming off 15 balls with one four and three sixes. But Delhi were always going to fall short in search of big runs from the word go.
© Cricket World 2012
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