Kohli, Gayle lead RCB to 26-run win over Pune

Kohli, Gayle lead RCB to 26-run win over Pune

Bangalore: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) rode on Virat Kohli’s whirlwind half century and Chris Gayle’s blitzkrieg to notch up a comfortable 26-run win over Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Friday.

Put into bat, Kohli smashed 67 off 42 balls after Gayle laid the foundation with 49 off a mere 26 deliveries, to lead the home team’s challenge at the Chinnaswamy stadium.

In reply, Pune could not manage more than 155 for five in their stipulated 20 overs, despite a fighting fifty from Jesse Ryder and a quick-fire 23-ball 41 from skipper Yuvraj Singh.

Ryder hit four fours and two sixes while Yuvraj’s knock included two fours and three sixes.

Earlier, Kohli smashed four boundaries and as many sixes during his stay at the crease while Gayle found the ropes three times and cleared it the same number of times.

After a quiet first over, Tillakaratne Dilshan scored the first boundary of the Bangalore innings, when he drove Jerome Taylor’s short of length delivery through the covers.

Thereafter, till the last ball of the ninth over, the show completely belonged to Gayle, who unleashed an array of hefty blows, leaving the opposition bowlers hapless, and the home crowd delighted.

On the receiving end of Gayle’s furious onslaught was Kamran Khan who conceded 47 runs in his three overs.

The big-hitting West Indies opener picked the left-arm seamer for 20 runs, including two massive sixes and two boundaries, in the innings’ third over.

After being welcomed with a four over extra cover, Kamran was sent over long-off for the maximum. He then bowled a short one, which was smashed over long-on by the marauding left-hander.

More misery was in store for Kamran as he conceded two more sixes and a boundary in the sixth over and his second.

The over-pitched one was sent soaring over the backward point, the short of length delivery was thumped over long-on while length balls were whacked through the midwicket region.

Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma removed Dilshan and Gayle in quick succession but Kohli had other ideas.

The stylish right-hander from Delhi pummeled Kamran’s length ball over long-on for and six, and moments later, did the same to Sharma.

Kohli then picked Taylor for two more sixes, the first one over square leg and the next over third man.

Kohli was literally toying with the Pune bowlers till he holed out to Harpreet Singh off Alfonso Thomas in the penultimate over.

Taylor bowled a tight last over -- in which only six runs were scored -- to prevent Bangalore from racing to an even bigger total.