Normally, Chris Gayle begins his innings with a six. But on Friday, he wrapped off the game with a six as Royal Challengers Bangalore surpassed the meagre 117 that Rajasthan Royals had set with 13 balls to spare and seven wickets intact. Thus, they took their unbeaten streak at home to five matches apart from jumping to the top of the league.
In an IPL record, RCB did not concede a single extra. But quite ironically, despite the rather small total, Rajasthan conceded as many as 16 extras, 11 wides and five leg byes. As if to lend some drama, RCB endured a mini-collapse. Shane Watson induced an outside edge off T Dilshan and wicket-keeper Dishant Yagnik brought off a smart diving catch.
Virat Kohli played on an incoming James Faulkner delivery before AB de Villiers failed to keep his off drive down and Ajit Chandila dived to pocket a low catch. Thus, Bangalore were reduced to 3 for 64.
However, the expected close contest never materialised as Bangalore were always on top and it was just a matter of time before they would accomplish the target. The Rajasthan seamers Shuan Tait, Shane Watson, James Faulkner and Siddharth Trivedi failed to take advantage of the helpful conditions. They wavered in line and length. The two long-haired left handers, Chris Gayle and Saurabh Tiwary, kept out the Rajasthan attack with calculated aggression. Quite in contrast, Tiwary looked more adventurous as Gayle was content to keep his end going with singles and twos. They put on an unbroken stand of 59 runs for the fourth wicket. When six runs were needed off 14 deliveries, the crowd longed for a six. ‘And Gayle obliged, as he met Trivedi’s over-pitched delivery and promptly dispatched it to the sight-screen. Subdued by his standards, Gayle made an unbeaten 49, surprisingly consuming 44 balls, while Tiwary made 25.
The win was again a vindication of their seamers’ prowess. RCB’s pace quartet of Vinay Kumar (3 for 18), Rudra Pratap Singh (3 for 13), Ravi Rampaul (2 for 19) and Jaydev Unadkat (1 for 32) accounted for all but one Rajasthan Royals’ wicket.