Gayle powers Bangalore to victory

News

For the first part of his innings Chris Gayle was cruising along, but then he suddenly went up a few gears and finished with 87 from 56 balls to propel Bangalore to a five-wicket victory over the Kings XI.

For the first part of his innings Chris Gayle was cruising along, but then he suddenly went up a few gears and finished with 87 from 56 balls to propel Bangalore to a five-wicket victory over the Kings XI.

Chasing 163 for victory, the West Indies master blaster was forced to bat with a bit of restraint early on after Punjab fast bowler Parvinder Awana reduced the visitors to 25 for three by removing Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli and Saurabh Tiwary cheaply.

However, it was always going to be a different kettle of fish trying to keep Gayle quiet and the Kings XI's bowlers failed to do it.

After "labouring" to 26 from 26 balls, Gayle took it up a notch and used only another 15 balls to go to his half-century. He continued to put his foot on the accelerator and hammered several sixes and fours to motor to 87. Unfortunately he couldn't see his side over the finish line as David Hussey took a stunning catch at extra cover to give Awana figures of four for 34.

Gayle was kept good company by AB de Villiers who hit an equally impressive 52 from 39 balls. The South African and West Indian shared a 131-run fourth-wicket partnership in 12.3 overs.

De Villiers was out lbw to Piyush Chawla in the penultimate over, but the game was already over by then and Daniel Vettori and Andrew McDonald only had to ease the ball around to take their side to victory with three balls to spare.

Earlier, Azhar Mahmood announced his arrival in the IPL in style as his cameo of 33 from 14 balls pushed the Kings XI to a respectable 162 for six.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Mahmood, who was bought for $200,000 at the 2012 player auction but was forced to wait until Friday to make his debut due to visa problems, gave his side's innings some impetus during the latter stages.

After being asked to make first use of the PCA Stadium pitch by Bangalore captain Vettori, the hosts lost both openers Nitin Saini and Paul Valthaty to India's left-arm spearhead Zaheer Khan inside the first five overs.

Shaun Marsh made 26 from 17 balls before he was bowled by Australian compatriot Andrew McDonald, but captain Hussey – who is standing in for the injured Adam Gilchrist – brought some stability and hit four fours in his knock.

Once Hussey departed, bowled by Harshal Singh for 41, Mandeep Singh and Mahmood shared a 44-run stand off 37 balls to edge their side closer to the 150-run mark.

While Mandeep was happy to turn over the strike during his innings of 20 from 15 balls, Mahmood smashed two sixes and three fours to give the Kings XI a decent score.

The victory sees Bangalore join a host of teams on six points, but they move up only one place on the IPL log to seventh while the Kings XI drop to eighth.

Latest