Gayle leads Royal Challengers to victory
Chris Gayle took his tally of runs scored in this years IPL to 398 to help the Royal Challenger Bangalore cruise to a comprehensive 9 wicket victory over the Rajasthan Royals.
Faced with a run chase of 147 the Royals Challengers cruised to victory thanks to Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan who shared an opening stand of 68.
The pair made light work of the Royals bowling attack who toiled on a perfect batting track with Tillakaratne Dilshan leading the way in his last game for the visitors in this year’s tournament.
The Sri Lankan, who joins up with his teammates for their tour of England signed off with a quick fire 38 which included 8 boundaries before he was caught by Ross Taylor out on the deep mid-wicket boundary in Shane Warne’s first over of the innings.
Despite the loss Gayle and Virat Kolhi comfortabley steered the Royals Challengers to their sixth straight victory which see’s them move up into second place in the IPL group standings.
Compared to previous explosive outings, Gayle’s match winning innings was positively pedestrian as the big hitting West Indian calmly played the ball around the out field.
With no need to take any risks Gayle (70) slowly saw the Royal Challengers to victory during a 2nd wicket stand of 83 with Kolhi (39) on a totally one sided run chase which the visitors were never going to lose.
Shane Watson and Rahul Dravid got the innings of to the perfect start with an opening stand of 73 after the Royals had been put into bat by Royal Challengers stand in skipper Virat Kohli.
Having only scored four runs in the opening over, the pair took advantage of the batsman friendly conditions, adding 39 more runs during the power play overs to put the visitors on the back foot.
With the opening stand turning into a significant partnership, Aravind halted the Royals charge by picking up two wickets in the 10th over to remove Watson and Dravid.
The 27 year old removed Watson (34) with a full delivery which the Aussie smashed to AB de Villiers at long off before Aravind caught Dravid (37) off his own bowling two deliveries later.
Despite the loss of two quick wickets, Johan Botha and Ajinkya Rahane remained positive during a quick fire 3rd wicket stand of 29 as they looked to keep the Royals innings on track.
Rahane lead the way scoring 17 runs from just 10 deliveries before he was run out by Botha who took a quick single even though he was turned down to leave Rahane stranded in the middle of the wicket.
Botha (19) quickly followed Rahane back to the dug out before Ross Taylor, the Royals self described “finisher” could only add 13 runs before he perished at the hands of Charl Langeveldt in the 18th over.
The South African bowled a perfect slower delivery which deceived Taylor for pace resulting in the Kiwi picking out Mohammad Kaif at deep backward square to leave the Royals 124-5.
Ashok Menaria could only add 8 before he was dismissed by Chris Gayle in the 19th over and even though Dishant Harendra Yagnik (2) and Abhishek Raut (5) added 13 valuable runs from the remaining 11 deliveries the home side face an uphill task to secure a much needed victory.