Jaipur: Chris Gayle scripted yet another victory of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) with an unbeaten 70-run knock as they spanked Rajasthan Royals (RR) by nine wickets to jump to the second spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL), here on Wednesday.
Chasing a modest 147, Bangalore coasted to win with three overs to spare and spoiled Shane Warne’s last game at home as the Australian will retire from the league after this season.
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Tillakaratne Dilshan though made his last outing at the IPL-IV memorable as he scored a quick-fire 38 to contribute in his side’s easy win while stand-in skipper Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 39.
Rajasthan frittered away a good start to settle for a modest 146 for six after being invited to bat with opener Rahul Dravid (37) top-scoring for them.
Bangalore now have 15 points from 11 matches while Rajasthan’s play-off hopes have dipped as they will have to win remaining two matches and hope that some other results go in their favour. They remain at fifth spot despite defeat.
Kohli led Bangalore in the absence of injured Daniel Vettori and the 22-year-old Indian became the youngest captain to lead an IPL side.
It was Bangalore’s sixth win in a row while Rajasthan suffered their third straight defeat.
Gayle was dropped by Warne when he was in 13 but did not give them any chance after that as he smashed 10 boundaries, including four sixes in his 44-ball stay at the crease.
When the Bangalore chase started, all the eyes were on Gayle because of his scorching form but it was Dilshan who stole the thunder initially by hitting a flurry of boundaries.
He did not spare any bowler as he hit Shane Watson in the opening over for two fours and extracted boundaries at will when Johan Botha and Pankaj Singh were operating.
Warne committed a blunder by dropping Gayle off Botha when the Caribbean was on 13, making his own job more tough.
Dilshan on the other end continued to punish the bowlers as he creamed Siddharth Trivedi for two more fours as Bangalore raced to fifty in just five overs.
Gayle, who was playing second fiddle by then, lofted Botha for a six to make his presence felt but Dilshan fell to Warne while attempting a six in the mid-wicket region.
Gayle was not his usual aggressive self but was still scoring at a fast pace, running hard between the wickets along with Kohli and finding a boundary here and there.
But soon the scene changed as the left-hander from the West Indies hit Botha for a six to raise his fifty and then made Warne repent for his dropped catch by launching him for a six over long-off and followed it with a four.
Kohli too was playing confidently from the other end and ended the match with a four and six off Pankaj Singh. His 39 came off 34 balls.