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Gayle century hands RCB crucial 21-run away win over DD
By IPL desk
Mumbai 18 May 2012
The Royal Challengers Bangalore arrived in New Delhi faced with a must-win battle against the top-ranked side of IPL 2012. As it turned out, the Delhi Daredevils were not up against the whole team but just one man – Christopher Henry Gayle. And Gayle won the duel hands down with his third IPL century and the first in this season. As a result, RCB remain alive and kicking in the race for the playoffs with a 21-run victory against DD.
To counter the Gayle assault, the Daredevils needed the icy-cool swagger of Virender Sehwag. However, the skipper had to give the game a miss due to illness. Unmukt Chand (18) opened the batting with David Warner (15), who failed to make a big impact. Stand-in skipper Jayawardene looked edgy and perished for nine.
In walked Ross Taylor, who has struggled right through the tournament to get few runs under his belt. The Kiwi batsman finally broke the shackles and batted himself into form. After getting off to an edgy start, he resorted to his favourite shot – the sweep – to get among the runs. Taylor played the shot to good effect, and brought up his half-century with a stunning midwicket heave off Muttiah Muralitharan. RCB captain Virat Kohli then deployed three men between the square-leg and midwicket region to counter that shot. Taylor eventually perished in the deep off a Vinay Kumar delivery. Andre Russell came in and smashed the ball around a bit, as did Irfan Pathan. But DD could only manage 194 for nine in reply to RCB’s mammoth 215 for one.
Earlier, despite resting their best fast bowler, Morne Morkel, the Daredevils decided to play to their strength and put RCB in to bat. Varun Aaron started well by dismissing Tillakaratne Dilshan in the third over. But after that, there was no respite for the DD bowlers as Gayle and Kohli went on an all-out attack. Together, they put up unbeaten 204 runs in 17.4 overs for the second wicket.
Gayle was at his very best, annihilating any bowler that came his way. His 128 not out came off 62 balls and was laced with 13 sixes and seven fours. During his epic innings, he smacked three sixes in an over on two separate occasions. Irfan Pathan was the victim the first time and the second bowler to suffer this fate was left-arm spinner Pavan Negi. Such was the power Gayle exerted that towards the end, his shoulders began to cramp because of all the big hitting.
Kohli, who has had a quiet tournament by his standards so far, chose the perfect occasion to strike form. He looked in fine touch, placing and timing the ball with precision and grace. He played some delightful cricketing strokes whenever opportunity presented itself. While his Jamaican partner was all brute force, Kohli (73 off 53 balls) concentrated on timing and placement to pierce the gaps in the field.
Scorecard: Man-of-the-Match: Chris Gayle for scoring 128 off 62 balls, which was also his first century in IPL 2012
Gilchrist powers KXIP to six-wicket win over CSK in Dharamsala
By IPL desk
Mumbai 17 May 2012
Kings XI Punjab kept their hopes for a berth in the DLF IPL 2012 playoffs alive with a six-wicket win against the Chennai Super Kings. When the IPL made its way to scenic Dharamsala for the first time this season, the Punjab franchise restricted CSK to a below par score of 120, after which they chased down the target in 16.3 overs. Adam Gilchristmade a return to the KXIP playing XI for this match, having strained his hamstring on April 18 in the game against the Kolkata Knight Riders at Mohali. The KXIP captain won the toss and opted to bowl first on the Dharamsala wicket.
It was a poor start by CSK, who lost both their openers, Murali Vijay (10) andMike Hussey (7), to some good swing bowling by Praveen Kumar. The KXIP pacer had both batsmen caught by Gilchrist in successive overs behind the stumps. The visitors’ situation worsened as Suresh Raina, who hit Azhar Mahmood for a couple of sixes, was also caught behind by Gilchrist off the all-rounder’s bowling in the eighth over. The visitors were 42 for three at the fall of Raina’s wicket.
An indication of CSK’s troubles against the Punjab attack was the fact that their batsmen managed only 45 runs in the first 10 overs. Parvinder Awana then had the visitors struggling when he got MS Dhoni (6) caught by Nitin Saini at third-man in the 11th over. Awana picked up another scalp in the 16th over when he had Ravindra Jadeja (13) caught by Saini, standing at point this time. At this stage, the CSK score read a disappointing 78 for five in 15.4 overs.
The defending champions may have well finished around the 100-run mark, but a 43-ball 48 from Dwayne Bravo and an eight-ball 14 from Albie Morkel lifted them to 120 for seven in 20 overs.
Chasing 121 to win, KXIP had a solid start with Gilchrist and Mandeep Singh brining up the 50-run mark in just 6.3 overs. Punjab’s situation, however, took a nosedive after that as they lost Mandeep (24), Nitin Saini (1) and David Hussey (9) with their score only progressing from 51 to 69.
But with Adam Gilchrist playing a captain’s knock, and bringing up his first half-century of the competition, the hosts managed to get to the winning score in 16.3 overs for the loss of four wickets. Gilchrist remained unbeaten on 64 with nine fours and two sixes.
The win gives Kings XI Punjab 16 points from 15 matches and leaves them in fifth position in the points table. CSK have finished playing all their league matches and have 17 points from 16 games. Also, as a result of KXIP’s win the Kolkata Knight Riders (19 points) have qualified for the playoffs.