Indian Premier League 2011
Royal Challengers Bangalore brushed aside any challenges from Pune Warriors at Bangalore, winning by 26 runs. With this win, they climbed to second in the table, demoting Rajasthan Royals who had momentarily taken that position earlier in the day. Meanwhile Pune have now lost their last five games and languish in the ninth spot, one above Delhi Daredevils.
Put into bat first, Bangalore got off to a rousing start, provided again by Chris Gayle. He smashed around the bowling for 26 balls, hitting four fours and four sixes. In all he scored 49 runs and was supported by Tilakratne Dilshan, who was subdued yet again. He was out for 15 runs after they put together 57 runs for the first wicket in nearly seven overs. Gayle was then joined by Virat Kohli who ground out his second consecutive half century, after his performance in Delhi. The West Indian meanwhile just fell short of his fifty in the ninth over.
Kohli and AB de Villiers then took over, putting up 66 runs for the third wicket in 7.4 overs. De Villiers was out for 26 but Kohli kept at it, spearheading Bangalore towards a more than competitive total. He was fourth out in the 19th over, making 67 runs off 42 balls, including four boundaries and four sixes. Mohammad Kaif played his first game in the IPL for a long time and was eight not out at the crease when the innings ended at 181 for 5 in their twenty overs.
Trying to overturn their poor run of form, Pune Warriors made a decent start as Jesse Ryder and Tim Paine put on 35 runs for the first wicket. Ryder was the chief run maker of the two as Paine was out only for eight runs. Ryder alone carried the Pune hopes in the first half of their innings as he accomplished his half century. But he left just when they were gaining momentum, out for 51 runs in the 12th over. The score was 79 for 2 and already Bangalore were having an upper hand. Skipper Yuvraj Singh then came to the crease and started hitting everything out of sight. He made 41 runs off only 23 balls, with two fours and three sixes, but the asking rate was climbing all the time. When Zaheer Khan removed him in the 17th over, they were still fifty runs behind and despite Robin Uthappa’s efforts at the end – 23 runs off 17 balls – Pune fell short once again.
© Cricket World 2011