Gayle blitz seals victory for Royal Challengers
Chris Gayle launched a stunning blitz to sink the Kochi Tuskers Kerala with an astonishing innings which saw the West Indian score 44 runs from just 15 deliveries to help the Royal Challengers Bangalore cruise to a 9 wicket victory.
Faced with a run chase of only 126, Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan launched a blitzkrieg which saw the openers smash 8 fours and 6 sixes in the first three overs as the Royal Challengers raced to 66-0.
Prasanth Parameswaran suffered the most thanks to Gayle who smashed 37 runs from the 3rd over which saw the 25 year old bowler concede fours sixes and three fours during an astonishing over which included a front foot no ball dispatched for six by the West Indians.
With the Royal Challengers amazingly threatening to end the game inside the power play overs the Tuskers struck back as Vinay Kumar bowled Gayle at the end of the 4th over.
With one eye on the fastest ever IPL half century the West Indians innings was brought to an end just 6 runs short having already dispatched 3 fours and 5 sixes during a craxy 15 delivery innings.
Despite the loss Dilshan (52) and Virat Kolhi (27) steered the Royal Challengers to a comfortable victory with a 61 run 2nd wicket partnership with over 6 overs to spare.
The Tuskers suffered a miserable day all round after suffering a middle order batting collapse to hand the Royal Challengers the upper hand after being restricted to a total of 125-9
Ravindra Jadeja (23) was the only batsman to offer any resistantís as the Royal Challengers strengthened their chances of reaching the IPL playoffs after being set a run chase of just 126.
Having won the toss, the Tuskers got off to a great start thanks to an opening stand of 43 between Brendon McCullum and Michael Klinger.
The pair were scoring at over eight an over until Daniel Vettori struck in the 6th over to remove McCullum (22) who spooned an easy catch to Arun Karthik at short third man.
Parthiv Patel could have followed five deliveries later after he was caught by Chris Gayle at midwicket but the new batsman was reprieved after Abhimanyu Mithun bowled a front foot no ball.
Despite the let off the Royal Challengers took control of the game as the Tuskers lost three wickets in the space of 16 deliveries to slip from 64-1 from 73-4.
Klinger (24) was the first to go after he was bowled by Chris Gayle in the 9th over before Vettori struck to claim the big wicket of Mahela Jayawardene who edged a delivery from the Royal Challengers skipper through to wicket keeper AB de Villiers.
With wickets tumbling Patelís reprieve soon ended when he was run out de Villiers after Brad Hodge took a quick single; with Patel stranded in the middle of the wicket de Villiers took the bails off with a one handed diving flick.
Hodge and Ravindra Jadeja held up the Royal Challengers charge with a 5th wicket stand of 16 but the visitorís slump continued when Hodge (5) was caught by Zaheer Khan at short fine leg.
Raiphi Gomez (7) and Vinay Kumar (3) quickly followed as the Tuskers innings petered out to leave the Royal Challengers facing a simple run chase.