De Villiers, Gayle help Bangalore edge thriller


Chris Gayle was going at around a run a ball against some tight bowling. Then he calmly decided to shift gears. The bowling ceased to matter; five consecutive sixes came against the bowler with one of the best economy-rates in the IPL, Rahul Sharma. Treating that Rahul over as an aberration, Pune Warriors responded with more tight bowling, with Ashish Nehra yorking Gayle. But AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary hit 24 off the final over, bowled by Nehra, to pull off an improbable win, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s first in four games. For more than three-quarters of the game, the Royal Challengers had played catch-up to the Warriors. After Robin Uthappa’s 69 took the visitors to 182, they had kept the Royal Challengers, and Gayle, in check for 12 overs. Gayle and Virat Kohli, game-changers both, had crawled along in a partnership of 30 in 35 deliveries. The asking-rate had ballooned to over 13, with 111 needed from 50. It claimed Kohli, who found deep point as he tried to hit out. Kohli’s dismissal fired up Gayle, who was on 37 off 35 then. Rahul bowled short, he bowled full, he went around the stumps, he went wide of the crease, he went wide of Gayle. To no avail. Five consecutive sixes later, the asking-rate was down by more than a couple of runs. Warriors were stunned but they recovered quickly. Ashok Dinda, battling a painful side strain, conceded just 12 in two overs, including seven off the penultimate one with Royal Challengers needing 28 from 12. In between, Nehra had, for once, found the perfect yorker to send Gayle back for 81 off 48.
Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 186 for 4 (Gayle 81, Tiwary 36*, de Villiers 33*) beat Pune Warriors 182 for 6 (Uthappa 69, Ryder 34, Samuels 34) by six wickets.