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Gayle leads Royal Challengers into 1st place

The Royal Challengers Bangalore secured first place in the IPL group standings with a comprehensive 9 wicket victory over the Chennai Super Kings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.

The victory means Daniel Vettori’s side will now play in the first play off match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai where a victory will see them go through to the IPL final next Saturday.

By finishing top of the table the Royal Challengers have also secured a place in the t20 Champions League by guaranteeing a top three finish in the play offs which starts on Tuesday.

The Super Kings meanwhile will have to wait until the Kolkata Knight Riders game against the Mumbai Indians at Eden Garden to see if they finish the group stages in 2nd or 3rd.

Despite losing AB de Villiers for a duck in the opening over the Royal Challengers cruise to victory thanks to Chris Gayle (75) and Virat Kohli (31) who shared a 2nd wicket stand of 80.

The West Indian was at his explosive best once again, smashing 3 fours and 6 sixes to help the Royal Challengers cruise to victory with support from Saurabh Tiwary (13) after the loss of Kohli in the 10th over.

The Super Kings got off to a terrible start, losing four early wickets as the Royal Challengers took control of the game inside the opening six overs to leave the defending champions 22-4.

MS Dhoni (70) led the way, scoring a vital half century but with the exception of the Super Kings skipper and Wriddhiman Saha (22) no other batsman offered any resistant to leave the Royal Challengers facing a relatively easy run chase.

Saha and Dhoni offered the Super Kings fresh hope with a 5th wicket stand of 42 but with the partnership building Saha picked out Luke Pomersbach on the deep square leg boundary to give Virat Kohli the break through in 14th over.

Dwayne Bravo (5) quickly followed before Dhoni and Albie Morkel guided the Super Kings towards 100 with a 7th wicket stand of 21 before Morkel was dismissed by Abhimanyu Mithun in the 18th over.

With the pressure mounting, Dhoni took control of the game smashing one boundary and three sixes from the final 8 deliveries to help the Super Kings reach 128-8.

Having won the toss, Daniel Vettori decided to put the Super Kings into bat and the decision paid off instantly as Zaheer Khan struck twice to remove Michael Hussey (4) and Suresh Raina (4) either side of the wicket of Murali Vijay (6) who edged a delivery from Sreenath Aravind through to AB de Villiers behind the stumps.

With the Super Kings on the back foot, Vettori brought himself into the attack in the 6th over to remove Subramaniam Badrinath (0) after the batsman holed out to Abhimanyu Mithun who took an easy catch at long off.

With the top order back in the dug the Super Kings struggled to get their innings going as they recorded their lowest total of the tournament at the half way stand havinh reached 36-4 after 10 overs.

source - cricket20.com
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