Riding on Chris Gayle’s unbeaten knock of 128 off 62 balls and then a brilliant bowling performance helped Royal Challengers Bangalore to beat Delhi Daredevils by 21 runs to keep their playoff hopes alive on Thursday.
The Feroz Shah Kotla crowd got the worth of their money by some blazing batting by both sides. Ross Taylor and Andre Russell’s late surge gave Delhi a chance for a win, but Bangalore well led by Virat Kohli managed to pick up wickets at regular intervals to leave them at 194 for 9. For Bangalore, Zaheer Khan took 3 for 38, Prasanth Parameswaran claimed 3 for 30 and Vinay Kumar chipped in with 2 for 35.
Chasing a huge total of 216, Delhi’s hope rested on David Warner (15), who started with two successive boundaries off Tillakaratne Dilshan, but in the second over Zaheer had the better of him. Warner trying to pull one short delivery off Zaheer loses his bat while playing the shot and the ball balloons to mid-off.
After that youngster Unmukt Chand (18) showed some spark by hitting two fours and a six, but then perished in the fifth over to Vinay Kumar. However, Bangalore continued to take wickets at regular intervals to keep Delhi on the back foot in their chase.
Coming on to bowl his first over, left-arm pace bowler Parameswaran induces an edge off Jayawardene (9) and AB de Villiers does the rest. When Taylor arrived at the crease he got into action straightaway and with Venugopal Rao tried to repair the innings. But Rao (36) couldn’t resist a tossed up ball from Muttiah Muralitharan and played straight down the throat of Harshal Patel at long-off.
With Taylor going ballistic in the middle overs that definitely gave Bangalore some scare, who made a quick-fire 55 off 25 balls which included seven fours and two sixes. Until Taylor was out there in the middle, Delhi sensed an outside chance of sneaking in a win but the fall of Taylor in the 17th over ended all hopes.
Earlier, Mahela Jayawardene made the mistake by asking Bangalore to bat and from then it was all Gayle show. The big West Indian batsman was in different mood at Kotla as he slammed an unbeaten 128 of 62 balls which was studded with 13 sixes and seven fours to take the visiting team to a mammoth 215 for 1.
Jayawardene who was in charge of Delhi in the absence of Virender Sehwag was at his wit’s end how to control Gayle. At the start, Gayle took some time to settle down and played 17 balls for his first 10 runs, but after that he got 90 in just 35 balls.
With Kohli (73 not out), Gayle put up a 204-run stand to go into the record books as the highest partnership in this season of IPL. Kohli looked in great touch and his unbeaten knock included 10 fours and one six.
All the Delhi bowlers went for runs and they surely missed the services of Morne Morkel, who was rested. Varun Aaron was the only successful bowler for Delhi, who claimed the lone wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan (10) caught at mid-on by Irfan Pathan.
Delhi failed to put on brakes on Gayle whirlwind, as the left-handed batsman scored three sixes off Pathan and Pawan Negi, as Bangalore plundered 78 runs in the last five overs.