IPL 2013: Gayle Force Too Much For Kolkata
Royal Challengers Bangalore 158-2 (Gayle 85no) beat
Kolkata Knight Riders 154-8 by eight wickets
Indian Premier League 2013, Bangalore
Report by John Pennington
Chris Gayle blasted Royal Challengers Bangalore to an eight-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders as they registered their second straight Indian Premier League 2013 victory.
After they fought back to restrict Kolkata to 154 for eight, Gayle smashed 85 not out in 50 balls to see the Challengers home with more than two overs to spare.
Such is the competitive nature of this year's competition teams are being punished for any period where they aren't scoring runs at a furious pace, particularly when setting a target, and Kolkata were the latest victims.
When Gautam Gambhir (59) and Yusuf Pathan (27) were batting together they looked on course to reach a big total but five wickets in the last eight overs put them on the back foot.
Gambhir struck seven fours and a six in 46 balls to hit an IPL record 17th half-century, while Pathan, promoted to number four, faced 17 balls with one six and three fours.
Bangalore, led by three for 27 from RP Singh and a brace of wickets apiece by Moises Henriques and Ranganath Vinay Kumar, bowled themselves back into the contest as Manoj Tiwary (23), Eoin Morgan (2), Rajat Bhatia (13) and Ryan McLaren (2) also fell in the closing stages.
They hadn't started brilliantly, either, Manvinder Bisla departing early for one although Jacques Kallis combined effectively with Gambhir to add 51 for the second wicket before he was caught by Henriques at cover off Vinay Kumar for 16.
Kolkata managed to hit just two sixes during their innings but in reply Chris Gayle cleared the boundary nine times as he made up for a couple of low scores in the last two games with a blistering half-century.
He lost opening partner Mayank Agarwal for six and Virat Kohli's dismissal for 35, caught by Morgan off Lakshmipathy Balaji was followed by a brief confrontation between himself and Gambhir before Bhatia intervened and Kohli continued on his way to the dug out.
Gayle simply continued with his clean striking to keep Bangalore up with the required rate and after he hammered Kallis for two sixes in as many balls and then a four from a free hit in the 17th over, they were in complete and utter control.
AB de Villiers also got in the act with a six down the ground to end unbeaten on 22 but left it to Gayle to finish the game, and he obiged by smacking two more consecutive maximums off Balaji.
Earlier in the day, Kallis had become just the fifth batsmen, after Suresh Raina, Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, to reach 2,000 IPL runs.
Gayle now needs just five more to become the sixth, despite having played 30 fewer matches than the South African all-rounder.
© Cricket World 2013
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