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12-Apr-2015 05:27:00 GMT
KKR v RCB, IPL 2015, Kolkata

Gayle Stars in Thumping Bangalore Win

Kolkata: Chris Gayle's blazing 96, off 56-balls powered Royal Challengers to chase down 178 with one over to spare at Eden Garden on Saturday.

Chris Gayle announced himself in Pepsi IPL 2015 with a 56-ball 96 that powered the Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 3-wicket win over the defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders.

Set to chase 178, Gayle took his time to get going before exploding at the back end of the chase and took his team past the finish line with six balls to spare. RCB’s victory also meant that KKR's 10-match winning streak was brought to a halt.

KKR must have seen the ominous signs with Gayle applying himself. The Jamaican wasn’t too ruffled despite wickets falling at the other end. Virat Kohli perished for 13, AB de Villiers made 28 from 13 balls, and poor shot selection caused the downfall of the rest of the batsmen.

But Gayle waited for the right moment and for the right bowler to cut loose. On a day when he breached the 7000 runs mark in T20 cricket, the RCB opener picked on the 17th and 18th overs bowled by Shakib-al-Hasan and Sunil Narine respectively to force the pace; he hit Shakib for successive sixes and then picked boundaries off successive Narine deliveries.

Earlier in the evening, after being asked to take first strike, the KKR opening pair of Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa wrested the initiative quickly with a 81-run opening stand, with both batsmen contributing almost evenly in the partnership. The partnership was broken when Uthappa’s attempt to hit over long on landed in the laps of Darren Sammy; he made 35 from 28 balls and hit four boundaries during his stay in the middle.

Andre Russell’s blitz at the end ensured it would be the hosts who would head into the break on a high. Russell, out to bat in the 17th over, struck six boundaries and two fours and raced to 41 from 17 balls as KKR finished their allotted 20 overs at 177 for 6.

Brief Scores
Kolkata Knight Riders -
177/6 (Gambhir 58, Russell 41*)
Royal Challengers Bangalore - 179/7 (Gayle 96, Pathan 2-40)
Result - Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 3 wickets
Points - Royal Challengers Bangalore 2, Kolkata Knight Riders 0
MOM - Chris Gayle (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

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