Stunning Gilchrist Ton Ends Bangalore's Winning Run

Stunning Gilchrist Ton Ends Bangalore's Winning Run
Stunning Gilchrist Ton Ends Bangalore's Winning Run
©REUTERS / Action Images

Kings XI Punjab 232-2 (Gilchrist 106) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 121 by 111 runs
Indian Premier League 2011, Dharamsala

Kings XI Punjab halted Royal Challengers Bangalore’s winning streak, beating them by a huge 111 runs in a one-sided Indian Premier League encounter in Dharamsala.

This also enabled them to stay on course for a play-off spot, helping boost their run-rate. It also piled pressure on Kolkata Knight Riders and possibly Mumbai Indians, as all three teams may end up on equal points, making for a tense last week of action in the IPL.

Having won the toss, Kings XI skipper Adam Gilchrist had no hesitation in batting first. And why not, for he pummelled the Bangalore attack into submission with a superb display of classy, attacking batting. It was the first innings of high note for the Punjab captain this season and it came when mattered most.

He struck 106 runs off only 55 balls, including eight fours and nine sixes. The highlight of his stay was a small duration of the ninth and tenth overs, when he smacked five sixes off eight balls, helping his team gallop ahead of Bangalore’s imagination.

Paul Valthaty had left early and Shaun Marsh joined his Aussie mate at the wicket for a mammoth second-wicket partnership. They added 206 runs and were separated only in the final over, having batted together for 16 overs.

Marsh did his bit, scoring 79 runs off 49 balls and was unbeaten at the end. He now occupies the Orange Cap with a tally of 491 runs in this IPL season, as he went about scoring seven fours and five sixes.

In the 15th over by Johan van der Wath, he plundered 30 runs, hitting three sixes and three fours. Together they helped Kings XI set 232 runs on the board, the highest score this season yet.

It was a target that needed Chris Gayle to fire, again, but he failed this one time getting out for a duck. Having already secured their place in the play-offs, it was a test for the rest of the Bangalore batting to come good and even if they couldn’t muster a win, they could have played for pride.

But that didn’t happen as the climbing run-rate always asked questions of them. Saurabh Tiwary came out to open but was out tamely in the sixth over. The damage had been done before that as Virat Kohli was out caught and when Asad Pathan was out in the seventh over, the score read 43 for four.

AB de Villiers came to the crease and played some crisp shots but it was never going to be enough. He top scored with 34 runs off 27 balls, with three fours and one six, but the next highest individual score of 15 told a tale. Only four batsmen crossed double figures in the end, and two tail-enders being among them only reflected on a poor batting performance! In fact, it was a poor day overall for Bangalore.

Chetan Narula

© Cricket World 2011