Superb batting by Chris Gayle and disciplined bowling gave the Royal Challengers Bangalore a 35-run victory over the Pune Warriors India in their Indian Premier League match at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium on Friday. Chasing 174 to win, Pune's pursuit was effectively doomed from the start. Zaheer Khan struck twice in one over, first ge got better off Mohnish Mishra (4) and, two balls later, the left-armer showed his wonderful skills with a delivery that pitched off and hit off to remove Manish Pandey for a duck.
Australian skipper Michael Clarke (13) yet again came a cropper. Robin Uthappa's 38 and Anustup Majumdar's 31 in the middle order kept their side in the hunt but once the duo departed it was just a formality. Steven Smith's unbeaten 24 did nothing more than delay the inevitable. R Vinay Kumar (3 for 32), Muttiah Muralitharan (2 for 16) and Zaheer (2 for 21) all contributed in Pune's rout by striking intermittently.
While Bangalore are now placed third in the table with 15 points, the Warriors slumped to their seventh straight defeat and continue to languish at number eight.
Earlier, Chris Gayle unfurled a whirlwind half-century as Bangalore posted 173 for 3. Gayle hammered 57 off 31 balls to take Bangalore to 80 for 1 in the ninth over but, despite Tillakaratne Dilshan's 53, the visitors faded away in the second half of their innings. The left-hander then had no pity on seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar as he belted him for four sixes in the sixth over, reaching his half-century off just 24 balls.
Sri Lankan paceman Angelo Mathews was the most economical and successful bowler as he gave away just 14 runs in his three overs. Mathews brought relief for the hosts when he had Gayle caught at long-on, where Manish Pandey took a simple catch. RCB still maintained a good run-rate and were 88 for 1 at half-way stage.
But skipper Virat Kohli under-performed again as he was caught off the leading at short-cover off legspinner Rahul Sharma for just 9 and Dilshan eventually fell for 53 as he was run out. Once Dilshan departed, Tiwary hit some lusty blows towards the end, finishing with 36 not out off 30 balls. AB de Villiers was left in the dugout until the 18th over and could face just four balls, scoring nine not out, before the end of the innings.