Gayle stands tall as RCB sink KKR

India

A Chris Gayle inspired innings went a long way towards the Royal Challengers Banglalore beating defending IPL champions the Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets with one over to spare.

Chasing 178 to win, Gayle was standing man alone between the Knight Riders clinching victory. The opening batsman struck 96 from 56 balls including seven fours and seven sixes as RCB clinched a tense win.

The second top-score of the innings was 28 from AB de Villiers, batting at number five, as he and Gayle shared in a partnership of 37, in just three overs, for the fourth wicket.

The much-vaunted top-order of the Challengers really let them down as Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik fell cheaply. After De Villiers went, allrounders Sean Abbott and Darren Sammy did not contribute much either.

Gayle was run-out with seven runs still needed to win, as one could feel the nerves from both sides, but tailenders Harshal Patel and  Abu Nechim scrambled the remaining runs off the last ball of the penultimate over of the innings.

Earlier, skipper Gautam Gambhir struck his second consecutive fifty and Andre Russell provided the innings with the late impetus it needed to see the Knight Riders score a solid total of 177 for six in their 20 overs, after RCB won the toss and decided to field.

Opener Gambhir hit 58 off 46 balls as his side, after getting a good start to the innings, lost their way somewhat in the middle overs. Legspinner Chahal and Nechim, with his gentle cutters, did well for the Challengers to restrict the home team.

Russell though came in and scored 41 not out off just 17 balls including six fours and two sixes to propel the innings, but in the end it was not enough.

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