RP, Gayle clean up Kolkata
Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 8 wickets, finishing the match with the Orange Cap, Purple Cap and most sixes in the tournament on Thursday evening at Bangalore’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bowl first, opening the attack with Moises Henriques. The decision paid off with Manvinder Bisla handing a catch to debutant KL Rahul at point.
Guilty of not pulling their weight in the first two games, Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir put their heads together to build a 51 run partnership. Gambhir stuck through, building a partnership with Yusuf Pathan after Kallis’ dismissal, hitting 59 (46, 7x4, 1x6) to anchor KKR’s innings.
Virat Kohli had a frustrating day in the field as captain, RCB and the captain himself of guilty of giving away runs in a bid to field aggressively.
But KKR were pulled back superbly by RCB’s bowlers in the second half of their innings. Both Kallis and Gambhir were sent back by Vinay Kumar who claimed the purple cap with his 2/36. RP Singh finished with a crucial 3/27, sparking a KKR collapse from 132/4 to 149/8, the team eventually posting 154/8 in their 20 overs.
Mayank Agarwal looked patchy and fell early in RCB’s chase, bringing Virat Kohli to the middle with the score reading 12/1 in 2.3 overs. Gayle smashed a six to end Ryan McLaren’s over but Kohli was more cautious, playing out a maiden over from Kallis and taking only 2 off the over after that from Sunil Narine.
The duo made up in the next over, Kohli hitting McLaren for two fours and Gayle hitting him for two sixes. Narine was hit for a four in his next over, Balaji was taken for 6 before Pradeep Sangwan was pelted around for 19 runs. 54 runs in 4 overs had seen the required rate dip from 8.93 to 7.27.
A slower one from Balaji in the next over paid off and Kohli was dismissed for 35 (27b 4x4 2x6). He left the field but not before exchanging what definitely couldn’t have been pleasantries with Gautam Gambhir, separated from his .
AB de Villiers walked in to join who kept the RCB charge alive, taking another 15 off Sangwan and 9 off Balaji. AB was scoring with hard running and the normally lumbering Chris Gayle obliged him with quick running. He reached his 50 soon after off 32b before gathering himself for another assault.
Sunil Narine was played out, restricted to 0/17 from his four overs. Kallis had bowled a maiden and conceded just 12 in his first 3 overs but Gayle plundered him for 18 in his last. AB de Villiers (22b 2x4 1x6) joined the fun with a six off Rajat Bhatia. The West Indian then finished the game with a brace of sixes off Balaji, sealing a 8 wicket win for RCB to take them to the top of the IPL points table.
He finished on 85* (50b 4x4 9x6), taking his total for the tournament to 191 runs. But he’s second overall, Kohli leads him by 7 runs to wear the Orange Cap with his 198 runs. Vinay Kumar finished with 7 wickets, RP trailing him at 6 but Kevon Cooper could reclaim the purple cap in Rajasthan’s game against Pune.